Ohio is one of the states attempting to reopen its economy, and it may penalize anyone not willing to get back to work. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is asking employers and businesses to report anyone who refuses to come back to work, reports The Columbus Dispatch. This applies to people who may have underlying conditions that make them susceptible to the virus, and those who cannot find childcare during the pandemic.
Before the department takes action and pulls someone’s benefits, both the business and the employee would have a chance to weigh in.
“It’s a case-by-case basis, but if you’re just saying ‘I’m afraid of the virus,’ that would not be sufficient,” Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Hall told reporters Monday. “The analysis would need to be that your work environment, the conditions there, are such that you’re at risk from a health and safety standard and you have good cause in that regard.”
Any decision can be appealed to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission, though how fair they will remain to be seen. This is similar to the actions that Kansas has taken. Their Department of Labor released this statement:
A claimant who refuses to apply for suitable work, refuses to return to work, or otherwise refuses an offer of suitable employment, without good cause, may be disqualified for unemployment insurance benefits. Claimants are required to report whether or not they refused work during the week claimed during the weekly claims process.
Whether you fear being infected with the virus or you disagree with your state economy reopening, it’s of no consequence to Ohio or Kansas.