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Unemployment Requests From Former Employees

Have you received a Request for Information or Unemployment Award Decision from the a state unemployment agency for an employee who left your employ weeks or months ago? With the dramatic rise of unemployment filings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are receiving unemployment decisions or requests for employment information for former employees who have not been employed by them for a great period of time. 

Under most state unemployment laws, employers can be liable for a former employee’s unemployment benefits up to a year from departure of employment. The standard principles governing an employer’s liability for unemployment benefits continue to control these former employee situations. Meaning, if the employer terminated the employee without just cause or previously laid the employee off in the last year, the employer will likely be liable for the former employee’s unemployment benefits up to a year after departure, even if the employee started new employment immediately after departure.

On the other hand, if for example your former employee resigned or quit employment to take a position with a new employer or to move away, the employer will likely be able to avoid unemployment liability by responding to the information request and providing that the employee resigned or quit on their own accord. The same conclusion also holds true if you terminated the former employee for just cause.

In all cases, regardless of the reason for departure, the former employer will receive a request for information from an unemployment commission as employees have to list all employers over the last year. Therefore, employers must complete and timely respond to these requests for information, including the details surrounding the departure. Employers should include all relevant information as well, including resignation letters/emails or handbook provisions that have been violated leading to a termination. 

If an unemployment commission ultimately holds you, as the former employer, liable for unemployment benefits, it is important that you timely appeal these decisions, including all supporting legal and factual arguments and documents. Otherwise, even as the former employer, you will remain liable for up to 100% of the unemployment benefits award to the former employee.

Bryan Meek is a member of Brennan, Manna & Diamond’s Labor & Employment team and is available to assist you with responding to requests for information and/or appealing unfavorable unemployment decisions. Bryan can be reached at 330.253.5586, or bmeek@bmdllc.com.

Investment Training for the Second and Third Generations

Consider this scenario. Mom and Dad started the business from the ground up. Over the decades it has expanded into a money-making machine. They are able to sell the business and it results in a multimillion-dollar payday for their labors. The excess money has allowed Mom and Dad to invest with various financial advising firms, several fund management groups, and directly with new startups and joint ventures. Their experience has made them savvy investors, with a detailed understanding of how much to invest, when, and where. They cannot justify formation of a full family office with dedicated investors to manage the funds, but Mom and Dad have set up a trust fund for the children to allow these investments to continue to grow over the years. Eventually, Mom and Dad pass. Their children enjoy the fruits of their labors, and, by the time the grandchildren are adults, Mom and Dad's savvy investments are gone.

Provider Relief Funds – Continued Confusion Regarding Reporting Requirements and Lost Revenues

In Fall 2020, HHS issued multiple rounds of guidance and FAQs regarding the reporting requirements for the Provider Relief Funds, the most recently published notice being November 2, 2020 and December 11, 2020. Specifically, the reporting portal for the use of the funds in 2020 was scheduled to open on January 15, 2021. Although there was much speculation as to whether this would occur. And, as of the date of this article, the portal was not opened.

Ohio S.B. 310 Loosens Practice Barrier for Advanced Practice Providers

S.B. 310, signed by Ohio Governor DeWine and effective from December 29, 2020 until May 1, 2021, provides flexibility regarding the regulatorily mandated supervision and collaboration agreements for physician assistants, certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists and certified nurse practitioners working in a hospital or other health care facility. Originally drafted as a bill to distribute federal COVID funding to local subdivisions, the healthcare related provisions were added to help relieve some of the stresses hospitals and other healthcare facilities are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HHS Issues Opinion Regarding Illegal Attempts by Drug Manufacturers to Deny 340B Discounts under Contract Pharmacy Arrangements

The federal 340B discount drug program is a safety net for many federally qualified health centers, disproportionate share hospitals, and other covered entities. This program allows these providers to obtain discount pricing on drugs which in turn allows the providers to better serve their patient populations and provide their patients with access to vital health care services. Over the years, the 340B program has undergone intense scrutiny, particularly by drug manufacturers who are required by federal law to provide the discounted pricing.

S.B. 263 Protects 340B Covered Entities from Predatory Practices in Ohio

Just before the end of calendar year 2020 and at the end of its two-year legislative session, the Ohio General Assembly passed Senate Bill 263, which prohibits insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers (“PBMs”) from imposing on 340B Covered Entities discriminatory pricing and other contract terms. This is a win for safety net providers and the people they serve, as 340B savings are crucial to their ability to provide high quality, affordable programs and services to patients.