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October 01, 2020

ODJFS Releases Online Reporting Form for Employees Who Quit or Refuse to Return to Work Because of COVID-19

As dealers are beginning to recall employees, there’s a possibility that employees quit or refuses to return to work because of COVID-19 related concerns while attempting to continue to receive Ohio Unemployment Benefits. When employees quit or refuse an offer of work without just cause, they may become ineligible for unemployment benefits. Further, if the offer of work is refused in order to continue receiving unemployment benefits, an individual may even be found to have committed fraud on the state unemployment insurance system. To address these situations, the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (“ODJFS”) created an online form for employers to report employees who quit or refuse to return to work specifically because of COVID-19. Employers can file a report on the online request HERE

If an employee threatens to quit or refuses an offer of work due to safety concerns, or because of an alleged disability, it could be considered “just cause” under unemployment compensation laws. Accordingly, employers should ensure that they are following the most recent CDC Guidance HERE as well as OSHA guidance HERE regarding workplace safety and engage in the interactive process with an employee to determine whether a reasonable accommodation can be made before requiring the employee to return to work. For more information, please review the Fisher Phillip’s Post-Pandemic Back-to-Business FAQs HERE