Employment Issues and the Coronavirus

If you are laid off in Ohio as a result of a business closure or slow down because of the coronavirus precautions, you may have enhanced unemployment compensation rights under an executive order issued <atarget=”_blank” href=”http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>by the Governor.

Many other employment-related issues are likely to arise when employees are furloughed or laid off during this crisis.  For example:

  • If your employer shuts down or lays off employees, are you entitled to use paid sick leave or vacation to cover part of the wage loss or be paid out for your unused vacation, PTO or sick leave?
  • What are your reinstatement rights if work resumes?
  • How long will health insurance and other benefits continue after a lay off or closure?
  • Can your employer reassign or “repurpose” employees to deal with the crisis, and what rights do affected employees have to refuse such assignments?
  • What can you do if your employer assigns you responsibilities that violate the state’s emergency orders or that you consider unsafe?

These are not questions that lend themselves to cookie-cutter answers.  The employer’s written policies may need to be reviewed.  If a union contract is involved, it may apply.  And your particular facts and circumstances may have a lot to do with your individual rights.

If you are concerned that you have been treated improperly during this time of crisis, we are here to help.  Please contact one of our experienced labor and employment lawyers to discuss your situation.