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:  http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndEmployers.stm

FAQ for employees:  http://jfs.ohio.gov/ouio/CoronavirusAndUI.stm

Mass Layoff form:  http://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS00671/pdf/ If you have any questions regarding the new ODJFS rules, employee layoffs or other coronavirus related employment issues, please contact Jennifer Corso.  jcorso@ps-law.com, 216-381-3400.

COVID 19 and the SMALL BUSINESS: Part I: Social Distancing & The Impact on Ohio Businesses

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has ordered Ohio public schools to be closed at the end of the school day March 16 through April 2.  This will undoubtedly have an impact on working parents, many of whom will be unable to arrange for, or to afford, child care.  

In addition, Governor DeWine signed an order prohibiting “mass gatherings” (100 persons or more) in the State, and strongly encouraged everyone to practice “social distancing” by avoiding crowded spaces.

Recommended Action Steps for Employers:

Immediately communicate with employees to determine who is impacted by the school closure.  Employers may still require employees to adhere to normal work schedules, and to abide by any attendance policies.  However, due to the immediate nature of the order, there should be some anticipation of disruption caused by higher numbers of employee absences. 

Review attendance policies, schedules and work arrangements.  Consider flex time, shift switches or work from home arrangements where feasible.

Also review workspaces in light of new “social distancing” rules.  Where possible, separate employees by a minimum of six feet.  Consider alternating work schedules, flex time or work from home arrangements to minimize the number of persons in the workplace at any one time. If you have any questions regarding coronavirus related employment issues, please contact Jennifer Corso.  jcorso@ps-law.com, 216-381-3400.

Can I transfer my property via a quitclaim deed into my trust without affecting my title insurance?

The topic of transferring real property comes up often in my estate planning practice.  A typical scenario is when a trust is created for a couple or a single person and we choose to transfer the real property via a quitclaim deed into a trust.  The question that arises is, “what happens to our title insurance policy?”  The question at hand is whether the transfer of property via quitclaim deed invalidates the title insurance policy that the client already has in place on their real property.  The answer is no, it does not so long as the person who quitclaims the property into the trust is also the settlor (the person who creates the trust) of the trust.  If the owner quitclaims the property into a trust where they are not the settlor then then will have to file a Form 107.9, which is a title insurance endorsement that amends the existing title insurance policy by adding an additional insured to the coverage.