View COVID-19 resources from Porter Wright here.


Porter Wright’s Labor and Employment Department represents management clients in matters ranging from complex employment discrimination and wrongful discharge litigation, including class actions and ERISA litigation, to compliance with various federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations, including the FLSA. 

Recent Blog Posts

  • Industrial Commission of Ohio unanimously votes to add remaining issues to active telephonic hearing docket By Rebecca Rayner    On June 3, 2020, the Ohio Industrial Commission unanimously voted to place all issues referred for adjudication on the active telephonic hearing docket. Since March, the Industrial Commission has conducted all hearings by phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, the commission heard only claim allowances and certain compensation issues telephonically. Following the recent vote, the hearing docket will expand to include treatment issues. According to Tom Connor, the Director of Adjudications, approximately 76% of the issues not currently... More
  • Premium deferral extended and other Ohio BWC updates By Rebecca Rayner    Previously, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) announced it will defer employer premium installment payments for the months of March, April and May, making those payments due June 1, 2020. Now the BWC has announced it will further defer premium installment payments for the months of June, July and August as well. This means the deferred premium installment payments are now due Sept. 1, 2020. Importantly, the BWC  announced coverage will not lapse nor will penalties be applied... More
  • Update to Ohio lawmakers’ efforts to expand Ohio workers’ compensation laws in response to COVID-19 pandemic By Rebecca Kopp Levine    As we previously reported in this blog post, Ohio lawmakers have proposed multiple bills that would expand Ohio workers’ compensation laws in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, the Ohio House passed an amended version of the previously introduced legislation. Ohio House Bill 606 establishes a presumption that, if certain employees, including first responders, corrections officers, food processing plant employees and retail food establishment employees contracted COVID-19, they contracted it in the course of and arising out of their... More
  • Pandemic is time to revisit website and other tech accessibility By Mike Underwood    Have you ever made online purchases as frequently as you have in recent months? Have you ever had so many employees working remotely? The pandemic-related surge in consumer reliance on online purchases, with a workforce serving those customers remotely, makes website accessibility for disabled persons an increasingly high-profile issue. Disabled consumers who experience barriers when attempting to access goods and services online may have Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims. Many courts view websites providing access to goods and... More
  • Time to review COBRA compliance By Mike Underwood    COBRA compliance is an area that, for many employers, is on auto-pilot. Many employers rely on outside consultants to administer COBRA and need not put much focus on COBRA time limits for electing and paying for coverage. One of the many ripples from the COVID-19 pandemic is a need to check on your method for COBRA compliance. The economic crunch from the pandemic has resulted in layoffs, furloughs, and terminations, many of which were COBRA-triggering events. The Internal Revenue... More
  • New OSHA Guidance: Employers must decide if an employee’s COVID-19 is work-related By Mike Underwood    If an employee tests positive for or is diagnosed with COVID-19, must that be recorded as a work-related illness on Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA )records? OSHA says COVID-19 is a work-related illness if the virus is contracted at work. That can be very difficult to determine. Employers should not presume a COVID-19 event is work-related unless there are clear facts to support that conclusion. In recent guidance taking effect May 26, 2020, OSHA clarified its expectations for... More
  • COVID-19 detection testing: You shall not pass (unless you pass the test) By Jyllian Bradshaw    The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released guidance allowing employers to test employees for COVID-19 under certain circumstances. Specifically, the guidance posed, and answered, the following question: May an employer administer a COVID-19 test (a test to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus) before permitting employees to enter the workplace? 4/23/20 The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that any mandatory medical test of employees be “job related and consistent with business necessity.”  Applying this standard to the... More
  • EEOC updates guidance on addressing health risks of COVID-19 vulnerable employees who do not ask for accommodation By Adam Bennett    Businesses are beginning to reopen across the country, and as employees come back to work, employers are considering to what extent they can protect vulnerable employees who continue showing up for work in spite of the risk posed by COVID-19. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released guidance to address this question. For background, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) learns more about the COVID-19 virus, it identifies certain conditions that might make a person more... More
  • Individual eligibility for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits By Avi Allen    The CARES Act enacted a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for those who have been laid off or furloughed. PUA funds are administered through the state agencies that manage the state unemployment insurance programs, and are funds that eligible individuals receive on top of their state unemployment insurance benefits. Because state reopenings are ongoing and ever-changing, and because PUA eligibility is determined on a weekly basis, understanding which employees can take advantage of these benefits is key. On... More
  • COVID-19 return to work considerations: Navigating the reopening process By Mike Underwood, Diane Reichwein and Brian Hall    Many states are releasing their plans to reopen businesses and lift stay-at-home orders. There are many important considerations for employers to take into account while planning their return to work. Porter Wright’s Labor & Employment Department developed a checklist of issues to consider for a safe and productive return to work. You can find that checklist here. Our team will also present two webinars tomorrow, Wednesday, May 6: How to Recall Your Workforce & Create... More