Following last week’s House approval of House Bill 606 — a bill to grant civil legal immunity to Ohio businesses during COVID-19 — the OMA and other statewide business groups raised concerns regarding a last-minute amendment that seeks to shift the burden of proof and leave food and beverage manufacturers vulnerable to a wave of COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims that would be impossible to contest. This letter to Senate President Larry Obhof details the coalition’s concerns.
If the HB 606 provision is enacted, claims against food and beverage manufacturers will only be the beginning, as other types of manufacturers and businesses will also experience the impact of this harmful policy change.
This week, the Senate completed its action on its version of the immunity bill, Senate Bill 308. It is expected that a conference committee will soon be appointed to negotiate the differences between HB 606 and SB 308. We encourage all Ohio manufacturers to contact their state lawmakers and urge support for the overall immunity legislation, while requesting the removal of the floor amendment added to HB 606. Here is sample language for members. 6/4/2020