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UPDATE: Governor DeWine's Plan to Restart Ohio - Questions Regarding Face Coverings

Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A.

Initially, Ohio’s Restart Plan stated employees would be required to wear face coverings. A day later, the Plan was revised to say that face coverings were recommended. As of Wednesday, April 29, 2020, the Plan again was revised, and face coverings again are required unless the employer or business can show it meets an identified exception.

The Restart Plan identifies four sectors of businesses that are permitted to begin reopening under the state’s guidelines:

  • Manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses;
  • Consumer, retail and services businesses; and
  • General office environments;
  • Healthcare and hospitals.

The state has issued guidance specific to each sector of business. The guidance can be found thru the links below (or copy and paste into your browser):

The guidance for manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses; consumer, retail and services businesses; and general office environments contain the same language on mandatory face coverings. The guidance states that face coverings are required to be worn by employers and employees while on the job, unless one of the following exceptions applies:

  • An employee in a particular position is prohibited by a law or regulation from wearing a face covering while on the job
  • A face covering is not advisable for health purposes
  • Wearing a face covering on the job is against documented industry best practices
  • Wearing a face covering violates a company’s safety policies
  • There is a practical reason a face covering cannot be worn
  • An employee is sitting alone in an enclosed work-space

If any of these exceptions apply to your business, or one of your employees, you must be prepared to provide written justification upon request. Therefore, if you believe one of the above exceptions applies to your business, you must document that exception and provide a written explanation on why that exception applies. If your business or employees do not fit into the above categories, all employers and employees must wear a face covering while at work.

The state’s guidance also recommends that any guests or customers wear a face covering as well. However, this is not required. KWGD will continue to keep you updated on any changes and modifications to Ohio’s Restart Plan.

If you have any questions, please contact Attorney Michael J. Bogdan (mbogdan@kwgd.com).

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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