As businesses in Ohio and across the country continue reopening, many employees are refusing to return to work, and are instead remaining off collecting unemployment benefits. This has frustrated many employers, and Ohio Governor DeWine recently stepped in to address the issue.

In particular, Governor DeWine issued an Executive Order specifying that employees who refuse an offer to return to work may have their unemployment benefits cut off unless one of the following circumstances exists:

  • A medical professional recommends that the employee not return to work because the person is considered high-risk by the CDC, and the employer cannot offer teleworking options;
  • The employee is 65 years of age or older;
  • There is tangible evidence of a health and safety violation by the employer that prevents the employee from practicing social distancing, hygiene, and wearing protective gear;
  • The employee has been potentially exposed to COVID-19 and is subject to a quarantine period as prescribed by a medical or health professional; or
  • The employee must stay home to care for a family member who is suffering from COVID-19 or is subject to a prescribed quarantine period by a medical or health professional.

The Governor’s Executive Order will remain in effect until he declares the current state of emergency over, or until he rescinds it, whichever happens first.