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Ohio House Members Release Guidelines for Re-Opening Ohio Businesses

On April 27, 2020, members of the Ohio House of Representatives released the Open Ohio Responsibly Framework. This framework contains recommended guidelines for opening Ohio businesses beginning on or before May 1, 2020, after weeks of business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three fundamental principles behind the framework are: (1) due to Ohio’s successfully “flattening the curve,” hospitals are no longer at risk of being overwhelmed; (2) “all businesses in Ohio are essential”; and (3) Ohioans should be trusted to make their own decisions, which includes respecting the decisions of businesses that choose to remain closed. The intent behind the Framework is to work in conjunction with the governor’s “Strategic Guidelines for Implementation” and “provide Ohioans more personal control over their local epidemic prevention actions.”

Guidelines included within the Framework include those that are now familiar to Ohioans, Americans, and the world. They include the continuation of practicing social distancing, as well as remaining home if you have a fever, are elderly with an underlying health condition, or are otherwise “more susceptible” to suffering significant health problems from catching the COVID-19 virus.

The Framework was signed by several Republican members of the Ohio House of Representatives and was issued the same day as the much-anticipated plan by Governor Mike DeWine for re-opening Ohio.

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About this Author

D Michael Crites, white collar criminal defense lawyer, Dinsmore Shohl, law firm

D. Michael Crites’ practice focuses exclusively on white collar criminal defense and complex business litigation. As the former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, he has years of grand jury and litigation experience in federal court and regularly litigates and negotiates global settlements of criminal, civil and regulatory matters on behalf of corporations and businesses throughout the United States. He also serves as Special Counsel to the Ohio Attorney General.

Joshua M. Cartee Associate Columbus commercial litigation

Joshua focuses his practice on commercial litigation. Before joining Dinsmore, he worked as an assistant attorney general enforcing Ohio’s minimum wage and prevailing wage laws on behalf of the Department of Commerce. While at the Ohio Attorney General’s office, he gained experience obtaining settlement payments for workers and conducting judgment-debtor exams to aid in collection of default judgments obtained by the department. He also represented the State Personnel Board of Review and State Employment Relations Board (SERB), prosecuting unfair labor practice charges and representing SERB on appeal and in mandamus actions. He brings extensive legal research and writing experience to his litigation practice, having researched and written dozens of formal opinions of the Ohio attorney general.