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Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

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

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.

BMD Appellate Win Clarifies Waiver of Contractual Right to Arbitrate

Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC attorneys David M. Scott, Lucas K. Palmer, and Krista D. Warren prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding if/when a party waives a contractual right to arbitrate. Borror Property Management, LLC v. Oro Karric North, LLC, No. 20-3146 (the “Decision”).

Relief for Ohio Under the Federal American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.

Cleveland Manufacturer Violated OFAC Sanctions By Allowing Shipments To Iran - Know Your Customer and Know Their Customer

UniControl, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of process controls, airflow pressure switches, boiler controls and other instruments, agreed to pay the Office of Foreign Assets Control “OFAC,” the financial enforcement agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, $216,464 to settle its liabilities for violations of the Iran Sanctions Program. OFAC stated that “this enforcement action highlights the importance of identifying and assessing multiple warning signs that indicate a foreign trade partner may be re-exporting goods to a sanctioned jurisdiction.”

Ohio Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations Shortened to 6 Years

On March 16, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law S.B. 13 which shortens Ohio’s statute of limitations for filing lawsuits based on breach of contract. A statute of limitation is the time period within which a party must file a lawsuit before its claim expires as a matter of law.

Chinese Product Tariff Challenge Causes Flurry of Importer Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed late in 2020 at the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) challenging the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) implementation of Section 301 “List 3” and “List 4” duties on products from China, HMTX Industries LLC et al. v. United States (Court No. 20-00177), has resulted in the filing of thousands of additional lawsuits brought by other affected importers. There are now 3,700+ companies added to the list, including Ford, Home Depot, Target, Tesla, and Walgreens, along with many other smaller importers.