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

Client Alert

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.


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.