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Protecting Ohio workers and Ohio Employers in the time of the Coronavirus


Fog rises on a green field with mountains in the background

A new article from Reuters discussing how the US Chamber of Commerce is asking Congress to protect companies from lawsuits related to the coronavirus: Read here

Already it looks like nurses are filing lawsuits for lack of PPEs: Read here

You have the lawsuits in Chicago regarding the lawsuits filed by two Walmart grocery store employees who died: Read here

I’ve talked at extensive length regarding the difficulties people may encounter filing a workers comp claim due to coronavirus exposure in Ohio. I’m sympathetic to the employers perspective, should the employer be responsible if an employee gets sick from coronavirus. How can that employee prove that he/she got the coronvirus at work. But I’m also sympathetic to the employee’s position, that is if Ohio is opened too soon and not in a thoughtful and safe manner, employees may be putting their health at increased risk.

Again who is better situated to take on the economic hardship when an employee gets sick. Its hard to say. If its a small business, I suspect most businesses will be strongly to make ends meet, make payroll. Maybe bigger businesses are better situated, but the bigger the business the more potential sick folks.

Scary time. In the meantime it looks like the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act may provide some relief to employees who get sick due to the effects of COVID-19:

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

(Sec. 5102) This section requires employers to provide paid sick time to employees who are unable to work due to the effects of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019). Specifically, full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time, which is available immediately, for use if the employee

  • is subject to a governmental quarantine or isolation order,
  • has been advised by a health-care provider to self-quarantine,
  • is caring for an individual who is subject to governmental or self-quarantine,
  • is caring for the employee’s child because the child’s school or child-care provider is closed, or
  • is experiencing a substantially similar circumstance related to COVID-19 as specified by the Department of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Department of Labor.