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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.

Lockdowns, Landlords, & Litigation: Abercrombie & Fitch Flips The Script on Simon Property Group Inc.

Novel litigation between commercial property owners and tenants arises from COVID-19 lockdowns. Typically, owners sue for nonpayment of rent. But in Franklin County, Ohio, a large retail tenant turned the tables and sued the owner to recoup payments.

UPDATE: Ohio Businesses Remain Required to Post Exceptions to State-Wide Mask Mandate at All Entrances

On August 1, 2020, Lance D. Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an amended order continuing the requirement that Ohio businesses post at all entrances any permitted exceptions they provide to customers, patrons, visitors, contractors, vendors and similar individuals to use facial coverings.

2020 Marcum National Construction Survey Marks a New, Post-Pandemic Construction Environment

The results of the 2020 Marcum National Construction Survey are in, and the construction industry’s outlook for the remainder of 2020 and beginning of 2021 remains cautiously optimistic despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. Ability to find skilled labor, healthcare expenses, and material costs remain the top concerns for the industry, while “lack of future work” joins the list.

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in the Wake of COVID-19

Several major “essential business” employers, including Walmart and Tyson, have been served with wrongful death lawsuits in relation to COVID-19. As many Ohio employees begin to return to work, employers should be prudent in following workplace safety practices.

We are Working in a Virtual, Video-Conferencing World – But What About Wiretapping?

Businesses and other organizations often have a need or desire to record telephone conversations related to their business interests and customer dealings; however, this practice is not always permissible as federal and state laws vary on this issue. Knowing and understanding your jurisdiction’s rules and regulations on this practice is essential to remaining in compliance with the law.