On Tuesday, Governor DeWine communicated that the State of Ohio, at this time, will not provide any “certification” or “Letter of Essentialness” to businesses and organization which are allowed to operate in accordance with the State of Ohio Department of Health Order dated March 22, 2020. Rather, as a company or an organization, you are to make the analysis and make the determination as to whether or not your company or organization meets the requirements to continue to operate under the terms of the Order issued on Sunday.
However, the governor also made it clear that you, as a company, should go through a process so you can develop a rationale about how the Order applies to you. For all companies who are operating, it is an essential step to take for a variety of reasons:
- One, you want to be sure that you are in compliance with the Order and satisfy yourself and your leadership team that you can, in fact, remain open. You also want to be able to support that decision and prove your compliance to others. You are encouraged to review the text of the Order, consult with your attorney, and consult with your trade organizations and anyone else who can provide guidance and additional interpretation as to whether or not you are an Essential Company or Organization under the Order.
- Two, local health departments around the state are questioning individual companies as to why they were open and how the Order applies to them. You need to be able to provide your rationale if questioned by the groups with the authority to enforce the Order (law enforcement and local health departments).
- Finally, you may be questioned by someone within your organization (an employee, presumably) or someone with whom your company does business (sales representative, customer, vendor, etc.) as to why or how your company is staying open. If that happens, you want to be able to communicate, briefly, your rationale for remaining open under the Order, and also explain all that you are doing to be in compliance with social distancing and other related measures required by the Order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
If you have any questions, please contact Michael J. Bogdan at 330.497.0700 (email@example.com) or any KWGD Labor and Employment attorney.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.
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