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.

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Photo of Brian Kelly Brian Kelly

Brian is the Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and is named to the prestigious Chambers USA: America’s Guide to Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Employment and Labor.

Brian focuses his practice on the representation of management…

Brian is the Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and is named to the prestigious Chambers USA: America’s Guide to Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Employment and Labor.

Brian focuses his practice on the representation of management in all phases of labor relations and employment litigation. Brian regularly represents employers in litigation before federal and state courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators involving employment discrimination and harassment, wrongful discharge, theft of trade secrets, breaches of non-compete agreements and other employment contract topics. Brian also has extensive experience counseling employers on employment topics ranging from FMLA and ADA compliance to reduction in workforce planning and implementation. In the labor relations area, Brian has significant experience in collective bargaining negotiation, union avoidance techniques and strike disputes. Brian has also developed and implemented personnel policies and in-house training programs on a variety of labor and employment law topics.