COVID 19 and the SMALL BUSINESS Part II: Expansion of Ohio Unemployment Benefits

On March 16, 2020, Governor DeWine signed an executive order expanding unemployment benefits for workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  With this order and subsequent updates, the changes to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services (ODJFS) benefit both employees and employers.

Changes for Employees:

Employees may now be eligible for unemployment compensation if any of the following occur*:

The employer shuts down operations resulting in the employee’s full layoff

The employer suffers a slow down/loss of work, resulting in the employee’s reduction of hours

The employee is requested by a medical professional or local health authority to be isolated or quarantined due to COVID 19 circumstances

The employee is requested by the employer to be isolated or quarantined due to COVID 19 circumstances

Waiting periods will be waived for any claim filed under the above circumstances

Requirements that employees actively search for work while receiving benefits will be waived

* Employees must meet ODJFS’s regular eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits, having at least 20 weeks of employment and earned a minimum average weekly wage of $269 during the base period.

Changes for Employers:

For contributory employers, all claims filed under COVID 19 rules will be charged to ODJFS’s  “mutual account”, meaning the employer’s account will not be charged

Penalties for late reporting and payments will be waived

Recommended Action Steps for Employers:

If an employee is laid off due to COVID 19 circumstances, instruct them to file for unemployment benefits.  All employees should be given the Mass Layoff form (link below). 

Additional resources:

FAQ for employers:

FAQ for employees:

Mass Layoff form: If you have any questions regarding the new ODJFS rules, employee layoffs or other coronavirus related employment issues, please contact Jennifer Corso., 216-381-3400.