- Meanwhile, the Ohio Office of Unemployment Insurance has set up a dedicated website that allows employers "to report employees who quit or refuse work when it is available due to COVID-19." The purpose of the website is to allow the state to cut off unemployment benefits for people who refuse to return to their job because they are afraid of contracting the coronavirus. In other words, people with legitimate concerns about becoming ill — or infecting vulnerable family members — will have to choose between reporting to work and losing all of their income.
Workers who decide to stay home would lose not only their Ohio unemployment benefits but also "the additional $600 a week approved in the federal stimulus package."
"[I]f 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 said earlier this week. The state made clear there "will be a strong presumption that if an individual’s job is available, they will not be eligible for unemployment benefits." The department will determine "whether a reasonable person would consider the workplace safe."