Unemployment: Suitable work may only be refused for ‘good cause'

Written on Jun 19, 2020

Gov. DeWine on June 18 announced the signing of Executive Order 2020-24D defining “good cause” when refusing suitable work for purposes of unemployment benefits.

You can read the executive order it it’s entirety here (PDF), but here are the details you need to know:

When an employee is called back to work in the same position as before the director of health’s special orders, there is a presumption that the position is considered “suitable work” under the Ohio Unemployment Insurance program. Those who refuse to return to work without good cause might have their continued unemployment eligibility impacted. During the period of the COVID-19 state of emergency, the following constitutes “good cause” for refusing suitable work:

  1. A medical professional’s recommendation that an individual not return to work because they fall into a category considered high risk for contracting COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the employer cannot offer teleworking options; or
  2. The employee is 65 or older; or
  3. Tangible evidence of a health and safety violation by the employer that does not allow the employee to practice social distancing, hygiene, and wearing protective equipment; or
  4. Potential exposure to COVID-19 and subject to a prescribed quarantine period by a medical or health professional; or
  5. Staying home to care for a family member who is suffering from COVID-19 or subject to a prescribed quarantine period by a medical or health professional.

Consistent with the waiver of work search requirements for all other unemployment programs during the period of the COVID-19 state of emergency, the work search requirements for individuals eligible for state-federal Extended Benefits pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 4141.301 will also be waived.

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