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Essential Businesses in Ohio: Today’s Announcements Apply to You

Client Alert

Governor DeWine announced the “Responsible Restart Ohio” program this afternoon to set the stage for reopening certain areas of the Ohio economy. Matt Heinle and Jeff Miller posted on the overall requirements today. While the announcement and our post focused on reopening certain businesses, the mandatory requirements and recommendations apply to ALL businesses, including those which had been open and operating as an Essential Business.  

What am I required to do?

Governor DeWine published five protocols for all businesses:

  1. No mask, no work, no service, no exception. Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times. Face coverings include surgical-type masks as well as cloth masks, handkerchiefs, scarves, etc. These masks can be provided by the employee or the employer.
  2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if “fit for duty.” Remember not to record individual temperatures, just whether the health assessments have been conducted.
  3. Maintain good hygiene at all times – hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing. These are similar requirements to what was already in place under the original Stay at Home Order.
  4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
  5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines. Maximum capacity should be 50% of fire code. Also, use appointment setting and staggered shifts where possible to limit congestion.  

When am I required to do these?

There is no reason to delay implementation, but today’s announcements give you time to get into compliance. 

 What do I do if an employee or customer tests positive?

The requirements are much more stringent than a positive test. If there is even a suspected case or exposure, employer must contact the Local Health District.  The other obligations are in the links above. 

Where can I get more help understanding how to operate and address employee concerns?

Contact the BMD Labor and Employment team. Right now, a business is most likely to get into trouble when its employees feel unsafe and report their employer to the public health department. Additionally, the sanitization and safety measures may create wage and hour concerns. We can help you develop your plan to reopen to ensure your employees and customers feel safe returning to your workplace. 

For more information, contact Jeffrey C. Miller at 216.658.2323 or jcmiller@bmdllc.com or Ashley B. Watson at 614.246.7518 or abwatson@bmdllc.com.


Valley National Bank/Trulieve Loan: A Big Step Out of the Shadows

In a late December press release, Trulieve announced that it had secured a $71.5 million commercial bank loan. In addition to the amount of the loan, which may be the largest commercial bank loan to date to a cannabis company, the release prominently identified Valley Bank and featured both a quote from Valley’s Senior Vice President, John Myers, and a description of the Bank’s service platform and commitment to the cannabis industry.

The End of Non-Competes? The Impact It Will Have on the Healthcare Industry

On January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced a proposed rule that, if enacted, will ban employers from entering into non-compete clauses with workers (the “Rule”), and the Rule would void existing non-compete agreements. In their Notice, the FTC stated that if the Rule were to go into effect, they estimate the overall earnings of employees in the United States could increase by $250 billion to $296 billion per year. The Rule would also require employers to rescind non-competes that they had already entered into with their workers. For purposes of the Rule, the FTC has defined “worker” to also include any employees, interns, volunteers, and contractors.”

2022 Healthcare Recap and 2023 Healthcare Check-Up

As the country begins to return to a new “normal” following the COVID-19 pandemic, there are many healthcare rules changing on both the federal and state levels as a result. Thus, it is important for healthcare providers and their employers to be aware of these changing rules, and any implications they may have on their practice. Look back on healthcare in 2022 and find a checklist for 2023.

Direct Support Professional Retention Payments

On December 15, the Ohio Senate and House passed House Bill 45, which authorizes the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), in conjunction with the county boards of developmental disabilities, to launch their initiative to issue retention payments to Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). These retention payments will be distributed quarterly to participating home and community-based waiver providers to address the workforce crisis in the direct provider sector. Governor DeWine needs to sign the Bill to begin the payments, but he is expected to do so by the end of 2022.

Real Estate Investors Position for 2023 Opportunities

Real estate investors weathered another year in a post-pandemic world, with the year closing with yet another interest rate increase coupled with both uncertainty and heightened interest carrying into 2023. Just last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate 0.50 percentage points, shifting the target range to 4.25% to 4.50%. The new level is the highest the fed funds rate has been since December 2007 and marks the seventh rate hike this year. So what does this mean to investors, brokers, lenders, and others in the real estate world? Read a few perspectives below from stakeholders familiar with our BMD clients and the markets in which they do business.