Employees not offered paid leave through their job and who are quarantined by a medical professional, who are quarantined by their employer, or whose employer has temporarily closed may seek unemployment compensation through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services without the normal requirement to be actively seeking work and without the normal 1-week waiting period usually associated with unemployment applications. However, asymptomatic individuals who self-quarantine will likely not be able to seek unemployment compensation, as they are choosing not to work. Working from home or teleworking will not make an individual eligible for unemployment compensation unless they meet monetary and weekly eligibility criteria. Impacted employees should go to unemployment.ohio.gov or to call 1-877-644-6562 to apply for benefits.
Changes to Unemployment Programs under the CARES Act
Under the CARES Act, unemployment insurance benefits are being extended by 13 weeks, and a flat $600 per week increase is added to each recipient’s benefit amount for a four-month period. Additionally, unemployment insurance benefits have been extended to those typically not eligible for such benefits, including but not limited to self-employed workers, independent contractors, freelancers, workers seeking part-time work, and workers without a long-enough work history to typically qualify.
Extension to Filing Taxes
The deadline to file 2019 federal, state, and municipal income tax returns and pay any applicable 2019 taxes has been extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020
Paid Sick Leave & Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
Emergency Paid Sick Leave
All current employees, including part-time employees, of public employers or private employers with less than 500 employees are eligible for emergency paid sick leave. An employee is entitled to this leave if the employee is unable to work (or telework) for any of the following reasons:
- The employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19.
- The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
- The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
- The employee is caring for a son or daughter whose school or daycare has been closed or if the son or daughter’s childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.
- The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of the Department of Labor.
FMLA Caregiver Paid Leave
Under the new law, if an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to the need for leave to care for a son or daughter under 18 years of age because of a school closure, a daycare closure, or because a child care provider is unavailable due to a reason related to COVID-19, then that employee is entitled to paid FMLA leave.
Changes to Paid Leave
Under the CARES Act, paid FMLA leave is capped at $200/day and $10,000 in aggregate. Paid sick leave is capped at $511/day and $5,110 in aggregate; this amount drops to $200/day and $2,000 in aggregate for sick leave taken to care for a family member or because of a school closure. Workers who are laid off after March 1, 2020, but then rehired are eligible for paid FMLA leave.
Banking & Insurance Relief Programs
The Ohio Bankers League is compiling a list of payment deferral programs, fee waivers, and other relief measures, for both consumer and business clients. Details on these relief measures, including contact information for each institution, can be found here.
Many insurance carriers have announced their assistance in modifying premium payment terms, including introducing grace periods, new cancellation terms, waived late fees, and more. Click here to find a list of such programs offered by various insurance carriers.
Assistance for Food Service Industry Workers
Several programs exist, or have recently been announced, to provide emergency assistance to food service industry workers, including waiters, waitresses, bartenders, and their dependents. Below are a few of those resources:
For those seeking employment opportunities as a result of a loss of employment, please visit the OhioMeansJobs Summit County website at https://www.summitomj.org/now-hiring. While the OhioMeansJobs Summit County Center is currently closed to the public due to the epidemic, resources for job seekers are still available online. Times are difficult for most employers, but some employers are hiring workers at this time.
For additional resources for economic support for individuals and families throughout the state of Ohio, visit the Ohio Department of Public Health's COVID-19 webpage.