March 4, 2021

Volume XI, Number 63


March 04, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

March 03, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

March 02, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

March 01, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Ohio Issues COVID-19 Restrictions on Retailers

On November 13, 2020, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health Lance Himes issued a new director’s order enhancing face covering requirements for Ohio retailers, adding mandatory oversight obligations for employers, and providing greater enforcement power for local health departments and law enforcement.

The order applies to “retailers,” defined as all stores, retail businesses, or other enterprises in Ohio “offering goods in person to the public,” with some notable exceptions. The new order expressly exempts the following categories of businesses and the restrictions and obligations set forth in prior industry-specific orders remain in place:

According to a July 23, 2020 order, Ohioans must wear face coverings at all times when inside public establishments, subject to narrow exceptions. The November 13, 2020, order clarifies that this requirement continues to be the law, but includes the following additional requirements:

  • Retailers must post at all entrances a notice stating that all persons are required to wear a face covering at all times while on the premises, as well as the maximum occupancy limit for each location.
  • Retailers must rearrange the physical space of the location or require people to move in one direction in specific aisles to permit six feet of social distancing at all times.
  • Retailers must physically mark placeholders in checkout lines demonstrating six feet of distance.

The order requires retailers to designate onsite compliance officers “for each business location and each shift during business hours” to ensure compliance with the order and act as a point person for the local health department and law enforcement. Retailers must cooperate with any government official inquiring about health and safety protocols.

The order also includes enhanced enforcement measures. Any local health department or law enforcement agency may enforce the terms of the order. If a retailer receives a notice of violation, the order requires the retailer to immediately close the location to the public for up to 24 hours “to allow dissipation of COVID-19 airborne droplets.” Under the order, businesses will be given an initial warning; however, repeat violations may result in the issuance of a “notice of violation requiring closure.”

Finally, Ohio will be mobilizing its Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) health and safety inspectors to inspect businesses, and empowers them to issues citations for any violation of this order.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 324



About this Author

Federico G. Barrera Labor & Employment Attorney Ogletree Deakins Law Firm Cleveland

Rico represents employers in all facets of employment law.  He provides proactive compliance counseling, and when necessary vigorously represents employers in all phases of litigation in both state and federal court, as well as before various administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.  He has experience handling labor disputes, employee grievances, and arbitrations, as well as defending employers against claims of discrimination, harassment,  and breach of contract.  He has also helped employers...

Donald Campbell Bulea Employment Litigation Attorney Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart Cleveland, OH

Donald (Doni) Bulea is a shareholder in the Cleveland office of Ogletree Deakins.

He is a seasoned litigator and problem solver providing clients with practical solutions to employment problems. Doni has successfully represented employers in litigation involving claims for discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, FMLA interference and retaliation, violation of constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, and correlated state statutes, as well as litigating restrictive covenants across many industries.

Practice Groups