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UPDATE: Governor Dewine Signs HB 606 Granting Short Window of Immunity from COVID-19 Personal Injury Lawsuits

The Ohio General Assembly, in Am. Sub. H.B. No. 606, is in the final stages of passing a law that will prohibit lawsuits seeking damages from COVID-19. This includes injury, death, or loss to person or property if the lawsuits are based, in whole or in part, on the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of the coronavirus, unless the defendant in the lawsuit acted intentionally or recklessly. In circumstances where this immunity does not apply, H.B. 606 prohibits such claims being aggregated and brought as a class action.

Ohio Permitting Deferral of Health Care Premiums for Employer Plans

Effective March 20, 2020 and continuing through the expiration of the state of emergency declared by Governor DeWine on March 9, 2020, the Ohio Department of Insurance is requiring all health insurance companies operating in Ohio to give their insureds the option of deferring premium payments coming due, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. See Department of Insurance Bulletin 2020-03.

What Advance Notice Do I Need to Provide for a Reduction in Force or Layoff?

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN Act”), 29 U.S.C. 210l, et seq., offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring covered employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of reductions in force resulting from covered plant closings and mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.