Client Alerts, News Articles & Blog Posts

Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Responsible Restart Ohio: Stay at Home Stays in Place – First Phase of Back to Work with Precaution and Protocols

Governor Mike DeWine announced new plans today regarding the reopening of Ohio, including the first wave of businesses to welcome employees and customers back inside.

This will not be a rapid process and that is by design, as DeWine emphasizes that the guiding principles behind Ohio’s plan are to protect the health of employees, customers and their families, support community efforts to control the spread of the virus and to take the lead in responsibly getting Ohio back to work.

Here are 6 Protocols for ALL businesses:

  1. Require face coverings for employees and clients/customers at all times. Although Employers are not required to provide masks, and a cloth covering is recommended, we advise that Employers do attempt to provide masks in order to limit exposure to liability.
  2. Conduct daily health assessments by employers and employees (self-evaluation) to determine if "fit for duty."
  3. Maintain good hygiene at all times -- hand washing and social distancing.
  4. Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout workday and at the close of business or between shifts.
  5. Limit capacity to meet social distancing guidelines:
    1. Establish maximum capacity of 50% of fire code and use appointments, where possible, to limit overcrowding.
  6. Contact the local health district about suspected cases or exposures. Click here to find your district.

Ohio’s Timeline by Industry

  • Healthcare and Related – MAY 1
    • As of May 1: All healthcare procedures and operations that can be done that do NOT require an overnight stay in a hospital can take place. Emergency procedures and operations can still take place now, per the previous Executive Order. There will be future guidance on other procedures and operations that require an overnight stay.
    • As of May 1, dentists and veterinarians can be fully operational without limitations.
  • Manufacturing, Distribution & Construction - MAY 4
    • As of May 4, firms can re-open if they have not been open through the pandemic. 
    • All such businesses must follow the above protocols, plus these mandatory sector-specific guidelines.
  • Office Settings – MAY 4
    • As of May 4, office settings can reopen, however, work-at-home is recommended as much as possible.
    • Must follow the above protocols, plus these mandatory sector-specific guidelines.
  • Consumer & Retail – MAY 12
    • As of May 12, consumer retail and general services can reopen. 
    • Must follow the above protocols, plus these mandatory sector-specific guidelines.

NOTE: No formal announcement regarding restaurants, bars, gyms, hair salons, and spas reopening.

BMD will keep you apprised of additional guidance and protocols as they are released over the next several weeks. If you have any questions, please contact your primary BMD attorney.

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.