Skip to main content
Top Button
Employment Options Under Ohio’s Stay at Home Order Employment Options Under Ohio’s Stay at Home Order

Employment Options Under Ohio’s Stay at Home Order

The Ohio Department of Health issued a Stay at Home Order on Sunday, March 22, 2020. The Order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020. The Order will expire at 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020, unless it is rescinded or modified prior to this date and time. All Ohioans and those operating businesses within the state of Ohio should be prepared, however, for the timeframe to be extended to a later date.

Pursuant to the Order, “all individuals currently living within the state of Ohio are ordered to stay at home or their place of residence” unless their travel is for the purposes of “Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions and participation in Essential Businesses and Operations,” as defined by the Order. “Essential Businesses” may continue to operate, such as grocery stores, pharmacies and medical offices. A complete list of Essential Businesses can be found in the Order.

Non-essential businesses in Ohio must cease all activities with the exception of “Minimum Basic Operations” or work that can be performed by employees or contractors from their homes. Minimum Basic Operations are defined as follows:
  • The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions.
  • The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.
Employers operating in Ohio should determine which employees, if any, are able to conduct work from home or are required to perform Minimum Basic Operations.

Three options remain for employees that are not providing Minimum Basic Operations or are unable to fully work from their home:
  1. Continuation on payroll with full or reduced pay;
  2. Layoff; or
  3. Furlough through April 6 with or without the ability to exhaust any accrued but unused paid time off.

Employees who are laid off, furloughed without pay or experience a reduction in pay may immediately file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits with the Ohio Job & Family Services. Pursuant to Executive Order 2020-03D, signed March 16, 2020, the waiting period to collect unemployment insurance benefits is waived during the public health emergency period. Any amounts received by the employee through severance or paid time off will be deducted from the unemployment insurance benefits. Employees whose hourly rates or salaries have been reduced are considered partially unemployed and may also be entitled to collect unemployment insurance benefits if their average weekly wage falls below the weekly unemployment insurance benefit amount. If an employer continues to provide health insurance or pays for COBRA benefits, it will not affect the employee’s eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. More information about unemployment can be found at the ODJFS website. Note that employers who have workforces represented by a union should review the applicable terms of the collective bargaining agreement related to notice and layoff procedures.

If an employer chooses to lay off employees as a result of this Order, the layoffs will likely NOT trigger the notice requirements under the WARN Act on their own. This is because the WARN Act only applies if there is an “employment loss,” which is a permanent closure or layoff that will exceed six (6) months. If, as a result of this Order, a company believes that the business will permanently close or that the company will not recall employees within 6 months, a WARN notice may be required.

If you have any questions about how best to protect your business in light of recent Stay at Home Order, the federal WARN Act requirements or the recent Families First Coronavirus Response Act, please contact any member of our Labor, Employment & Immigration group. For matters related to COVID-19, please refer to our COVID-19 Resource Center and contact a member of our COVID-19 Task Force.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.


View Full Site View Mobile Optimized