July 13, 2020

Volume X, Number 195

July 13, 2020

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July 10, 2020

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Ohio’s Phased Reopening Continues With Additional Sector Announcements

On May 14, 2020, Governor Mike DeWine announced an order to continue Ohio’s phased reopening of the state’s economy, adding daycare centers, summer camps, gyms, campgrounds, and pools to the list of businesses that may now reopen. Combined with the state’s prior Stay Safe Ohio and Responsible Restart Ohio orders, here is the most updated calendar for Ohio’s reopening, which will occur in stages:

May 15, 2020

Restaurants and bars may reopen for outdoor dining, but must follow the requirements set forth in Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton’s “Dine Safe Ohio Order,” which remain in place through July 1, 2020. Requirements include the use of face coverings by employees; restrictions on capacity; an emphasis on 6 feet of spacing for employees and members of the public; limits on reservation sizes (no more than 10 persons in a reservation); restrictions on the use of common areas; the posting of signs advising of COVID-19 symptoms; daily symptom assessments performed by employees; providing approved COVID-19 training to employees; and enhanced safety measures (permitting patron use of masks, making hand sanitizer available, frequent cleaning obligations, etc.).

Hair salons, barbershops, day spas, nail salons, massage therapy facilities, acupuncture clinics, cosmetic therapy facilities, and tattoo and body piercing parlors licensed by either the Ohio State Cosmetology and Barber Board or the State Medical Board of Ohio may also reopen. These businesses must comply with Director Acton’s “Director’s Order,” which remains in place through July 1, 2020. Requirements include the use of face coverings by employees; permitting patrons to wear face coverings except in limited instances; ensuring proper social distancing; employees wearing gloves where possible; daily symptom assessments performed by employees; and maintaining accurate appointment records including names and contact information for all customers (for use in contact tracing if needed), and enhanced cleaning obligations.

May 21, 2020

Indoor dining at restaurants and bars may resume with restrictions. The orders also permit campgrounds to reopen.

May 22, 2020

Horse racing, without spectators, may begin. Racinos and casinos must remain closed.

May 26, 2020

Bureau of Motor Vehicles offices; fitness centers, gyms and tennis clubs; public pools (excluding amusement parks and water parks, which remain closed) may reopen; and noncontact or limited-contact sport leagues, such as tennis, baseball, softball, and golf may begin activities.

May 31, 2020

Daycare centers and day camps may reopen with strict rules to be implemented on student ratios, drop-off procedures, onsite activities, pick-up, and handling confirmed cases of COVID-19. Daycare-specific requirements have been released but are not yet formalized in an official order.

All businesses reopening may want to consult the state’s Sector Specific Operating Requirements, but many of these requirements have yet to be issued in the form of a statewide order.

Notably absent from the current reopening schedules are the following:

  • Schools, which will remain closed through the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Entertainment and recreational businesses, such as casinos, movie theaters, and family entertainment businesses (e.g., laser tag, skating rinks, arcades, miniature golf, etc.)
  • Locations of public amusement, such as amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, concert venues, sports venues, and social clubs
  • Live entertainment at restaurants, bars, and clubs
  • Public playgrounds

Any business that remains closed is permitted to maintain “minimum basic operations,” provided it complies with the social distancing requirements. Minimum basic operations include maintaining value of inventory, physical plants, and equipment; providing security; processing payroll; and enabling people to work remotely.

The Stay Safe Ohio Order, including the following protocols, remains applicable to all businesses through at least May 29, 2020.

  • “[S]trongly encourage as many employees as possible to work from home by implementing policies in areas such as teleworking and video conferencing, subject to the discretion of the employer.”
  • “Actively encourage sick employees to stay home until they are free of fever (without the use of medication) for at least 72 hours (three full days) AND symptoms have improved for at least 72 hours AND at least seven days have passed since symptoms first began. Do not require a healthcare provider’s note to validate the illness or return to work of employees sick with acute respiratory illness.”
  • “Ensure that your sick leave policies are up to date, flexible, and non-punitive to allow sick employees to stay home to care for themselves, children, or other family members. Consider encouraging employees to do a self-assessment each day to check if they have any COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath).”
  • “Separate employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms from other employees and send them home immediately. Restrict their access to the business until they have recovered.”
  • “Reinforce key messages—stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene—to all employees, and place posters in areas where they are most likely to be seen. Provide protection supplies such as soap and water, hand sanitizer, tissues, and no-touch disposal receptacles for use by employees.”
  • “Frequently perform enhanced environmental cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, railings, door handles, and door knobs.… Provide disposable wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be wiped down by employees before each use.”
  • “Be prepared to change business practices if needed to maintain critical operations (e.g., identify alternative suppliers, prioritize customers, or temporarily suspend some of your operations).”
  • “Comply with all applicable guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Ohio Department of Health regarding social distancing.”

In addition, the Stay Safe Ohio Order directs all businesses to require employees to wear facial coverings with limited exceptions, such as if prohibited by law or regulation or if doing so would violate industry standards; if doing so is not advisable for health reasons; if the employee works alone in an assigned work area; or if there is a functional (practical) reason not to wear a facial covering. Businesses must provide written justification, upon request, explaining why an employee is not required to wear a facial covering in the workplace. Additionally, while not required, businesses “must allow” customers and visitors to use facial coverings, “except for specifically documented legal, life, health or safety considerations and limited documented security considerations.”

Retail establishments reopened on May 12, 2020. All retail businesses, including essential businesses that have continued to operate, must adhere to the sector-specific guidance mandating the following for retailers.

  • “Ensure minimum 6 feet between employees, if not possible, install barriers”
  • “Employees must perform daily symptom assessment”
  • “Require employees to stay home if symptomatic”
  • “Consider having customers wear face coverings at all times”
  • “Require regular handwashing by employees”
  • “Place hand sanitizers in high-contact locations”
  • “Clean high-touch items after each use (e.g., carts, baskets)”
  • “Ensure minimum 6 feet between customers”
  • “Specify hours for at-risk populations (e.g., elderly [populations])”
  • “Ask customers and guests not to enter if symptomatic”
  • “Stagger entry of customers and guests”
  • “Post social distancing signage and disinfect high-contact surfaces hourly”
  • “Establish maximum capacity”
  • “Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at work”
  • “Contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures”
  • “Shutdown shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible”

Businesses that operate general office environments were permitted to reopen as of May 4, 2020. Sector-specific requirements for offices including the following steps listed below.

  • Consider having employees work from home by implementing policies in areas such as teleworking and video conferencing
  • “Ensure minimum 6 feet between employees, if not possible, install barriers”
  • “Employees must perform daily symptom assessment”
  • “Require employees to stay home if symptomatic”
  • “Consider having customers wear face coverings at all times”
  • “Require regular handwashing by employees”
  • “Reduce sharing of work materials”
  • “Limit travel as much as possible”
  • “Stagger arrival of all employees and guests”
  • “Post signage on health safety guidelines in common areas”
  • “Frequent disinfection of desks, workstations, and high-contact surfaces”
  • “Daily disinfection of common areas”
  • “Cancel/postpone in person events when social distancing guidelines cannot be met”
  • “Establish maximum capacity”
  • “Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at work”
  • “Contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures”
  • “Shutdown shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible”

Manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses were also permitted to reopen as of May 4, 2020, provided they adhered to the following business sector-specific guidance.

  • “Ensure minimum 6 [feet] between people, if not possible, install barriers”
  • “Employees must perform daily symptom assessment”
  • “Require employees to stay home if symptomatic”
  • “Consider having distributors and guests wear face coverings at all times”
  • “Require regular handwashing” by employees, distributors, and guests
  • Stagger or change shift patterns, meal times, and other breaks to limit arrivals of employees and guests
  • “Daily disinfection of desks and workstations”
  • “Daily deep disinfection of high contact-surfaces”
  • “Space factory floor to allow for distancing”
  • “Regulate max number of people in cafeterias/common spaces”
  • “Establish maximum capacity”
  • “Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at work”
  • “Contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures”
  • “Shutdown shop/floor for deep sanitation if possible”
© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 140

TRENDING LEGAL ANALYSIS


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...

216-274-6906
Rebecca J. Bennett Employment Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart Cleveland, OH
Shareholder

There is a story behind every employment discrimination claim.  Rebecca is skilled at telling your side of the story.  She unravels allegations, sifts through facts, and marshals evidence to build a defense.  Rebecca is a trial lawyer.  Through experience and intuition, she is good at evaluating risks and drawing up a winning strategy, whether that means early resolution or preparing for a jury trial.  Clients appreciate Rebecca’s cool-headed counsel in times of workplace trouble and uncertainty.

Rebecca has spent her career representing and counseling employers nationally in all aspects of labor and employment law, litigation, and compliance.  As a trial lawyer, she has achieved successful results for employers through defense verdicts, arbitration awards, dismissals, appeals, and negotiated settlements, in hundreds of matters for employers in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, health care, technology, professional services, higher and secondary education, retail, non-profit, transportation, retail, hospitality, and construction.  She has advised clients regarding the formation and maintenance of disadvantaged, minority and female business enterprises and voluntary supplier diversity issues. Much of her work includes advising and representing clients through workplace crises, such as data breach, criminal activity, abuse, fraud, workplace violence, accidents, and other crises requiring swift, thorough, and coordinated action.

Clients served range from Fortune 100 to closely-held start-ups.

Her specific experience includes:

  • Complex employment litigation defense of claims under federal and state anti-discrimination laws, including Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Equal Pay Act, among other laws and regulations
  • Unfair competition litigation and advice, including trade secret, restrictive covenant, non-compete, confidentiality, and non-solicitation litigation
  • Title IX compliance, training, and litigation
  • Class and collective action defense
  • Wage and hour litigation and compliance
  • Personnel policies
  • State and federal human resources legal compliance
  • Discipline and discharge counseling
  • Negotiation of collective bargaining agreements
  • Traditional labor relations issues, including grievances, unfair labor practice charges, mediation and arbitrations;
  • Union avoidance, strike planning, and union elections
  • Prevailing wage and other government contracting requirements.
  • Employment contracts, including executive employment agreements, non-compete, trade secret, and confidentiality agreements
  • OSHA litigation
  • Data breach and privacy, including compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation
  • Affirmative action

Rebecca provides customized training programs to employers for labor and employment compliance.  She is a frequent presenter, having given over 100 presentations, speeches, webinars, podcasts, and training sessions for employers.

216-274-6903
Donald Campbell Bulea Employment Litigation Attorney Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart Cleveland, OH
Shareholder

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

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