Ohio Amends Health Order & Outlines Process for Employers to Report Work Refusals

May 22, 2021

By Jennifer Hart

On Monday, the Ohio Department of Health amended its remaining health order to conform with the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, which states that vaccinated individuals can stop wearing masks and social distancing. Such prevention measures are still recommended for those who are unvaccinated.

Ohio’s order also reflects the CDC’s recommendation that everyone, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated, continue to wear masks when they are in a healthcare setting, traveling on public transportation, and when they are at a business or employer that chooses to require masks. Masks are also still required in congregate settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as well as in settings with large numbers of unvaccinated individuals, such as schools and daycare facilities.

Businesses and Masks

The CDC recommendations make it clear that businesses can decide for themselves whether to continue to require masks while on their property. Businesses are permitted under both the CDC guidance and Ohio’s order to either require that employees and customers wear masks or to leave that choice to customers and employees.

Reporting Work Refusals

Also on Monday, Lt. Governor Jon Husted outlined the process for employers to report work refusals on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) website to help ease the challenges businesses are facing with filling open positions.

Employers can use the designated form to report former employees who are receiving unemployment compensation but have refused offers of “suitable work.” According to Ohio law, individuals are not entitled to unemployment benefits if they have “refused without good cause to accept an offer of suitable work when made by an employer.”

Employers reporting such refusals must provide the following:

  • Individual’s name, email address and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Claimant name and claimant ID or last four digits of claimant’s Social Security number
  • Details about the specific situation

Once the report has been made, ODJFS will conduct an investigation to weigh whether the refusal was for good cause. Both parties will be able to appeal the determination.

As of May 16, OhioMeansJobs.com lists more than 180,000 available jobs in the state, with almost 95,000 of them paying a salary of more than $50,000 per year.


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