Last week, the Ohio Department of Health issued a new “Amended Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating” which deviates greatly from its previous guidance to employers relating to maintaining a safe workplace and a healthy workforce. The revised order can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/amended-directors-order-for-social-distancing-21.pdf and the order rescinding previous orders can be found here: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/publicorders/directors-order-rescinding-various-orders.pdf
Perhaps most notable, the new order does not include any recommendation that employers have employees work from home when possible. However, it does still seem to obligate:
- Six-feet social distancing, whenever possible
- Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or;
- Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces; and
- Not shaking hands.
Despite the steps taken in some states (most notably, Texas) masks continue to be required in any indoor location that is not a residence, and when outdoors if you are unable to consistently maintain a six feet of distance.
As has been our recommendation since March 2020, all employers will want to continue to examine its compliance with local, state and federal mandates and recommendations to ensure it is meeting the standards required and recommended, or, in the alternative, has navigated and documented a thorough process if it cannot or chooses not to comply with those mandates and recommendations. It appears that, in Ohio, the wearing of masks, 6 foot social distancing, and limiting the unnecessary of gathering of large numbers of employees will; continue to be in place for the foreseeable future. Further, the new order continues to direct employers to report all suspected COVID-19 vases and exposures to your local health department and removing employees with expected cases or exposures from the workplace.
If you have any questions regarding this issue, please call Michael J. Bogdan (email@example.com) at (330) 497-0700 or any of the attorneys in the Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Labor & Employment Law Practice Section.
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.