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., 216-381-3400.