News and Analysis
You’ve just received word that one of your employees has tested positive for substance abuse. What do you do? OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® summarizes in this three-minute video three tips for implementing your second-chance policy. 11/12/2020
Monday, Nov. 16 is the enrollment deadline to participate in the OMA’s Workers’ Compensation Group Experience Rating program for the 2021/22 policy year. The OMA has posted 2020/21 Workers’ Compensation Services offers to members’ workers’ comp dashboards. Contact OMA’s Brian Jackson or your account manager with questions. 10/21/2020
The OMA Safety & Workers’ Compensation Committee convened yesterday via Zoom, as are all OMA committee meetings through at least Q2 of 2021. Chaired by Matt Schurte, General Counsel, Lancaster Colony Corp., the committee had a packed agenda.
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator Stephanie McCloud was on hand to provide an update from the agency. She detailed the recently approved $5 billion employer dividend to be issued in December (see separate story). The administrator also reported on COVID-19 claims activity and the purchase of PPE for Ohio employers.
Committee member Bob Robenalt, a partner with OMA Connections Partner, Fisher Philips, offered employers guidance on vaccine policies as the current availability of flu vaccine and the coming availability of COVID-19 vaccines have become a workplace matter.
Members engaged in a roundtable discussion on how they are managing through the pandemic. Make sure you are subscribed to the OMA’s Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee so you receive meeting invitations and committee materials next year. 11/5/2020
This week the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) board of directors approved Gov. DeWine’s request to send $5 billion in dividends to Ohio employers to ease the impact COVID-19 on the state’s business community and workforce.
BWC will apply the dividend to an employer’s unpaid balances first, then send a check for the remainder in mid-December. The agency issued a $1.54 billion dividend in late April and $1.34 billion in October.
Employers eligible to receive this latest dividend are limited to the employers that were eligible to receive the October 2020 dividend. The amount of each dividend will be calculated as: the dividend paid to each employer in October 2020 multiplied by a factor of 3.7246. The dividend value equals approximately 372 percent of the policy year 2019 premium paid by eligible employers. 11/3/2020
Gov. Mike DeWine this week announced he would ask the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) board to approve a $5 billion dividend — the largest in the state’s history. The BWC board must first approve the request before checks are sent to employers.
The dividend request comes just one week after the BWC began sending checks from an earlier $1.34 billion payout. The newly proposed dividend would be the third issued in 2020, and would bring this year’s dividend total to nearly $8 billion. If approved, the new round of checks would be distributed in December.
“This isn’t deficit spending,” Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said. “This is money the businesses paid in and the BWC managed well. There’s no stimulus right now and this is a way to inject a lifeline for people during a difficult time.” 10/28/2020
There’s still time to register for the OMA Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The meeting will include a visit from Ohio BWC Administrator Stephanie McCloud; information regarding OSHA’s virtual safety inspections; and COVID-19 safety updates.
It will also feature a special presentation from OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips on what employers should consider in a workplace policy regarding flu shots and a forthcoming COVID-19 vaccine. Register here. 10/28/2020
The U.S. EPA has approved more than 500 surface disinfectant products for use against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The list of approved disinfectants continues to be updated on a weekly basis. It includes helpful tips on how to use disinfectants properly, as well as FAQs to ensure correct product usage.
The EPA notes that if an approved disinfectant is not available, diluted household bleach can be used to disinfect surfaces. Users should closely follow the bleach dilution directions from the CDC. Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used. 10/28/2020
Last month, Gov. Mike DeWine signed House Bill 606, OMA-supported legislation that provides legal liability protections to businesses and others during COVID-19.
In this updated insight, Connections Partner Roetzel writes that “the caveat to HB 606 is that it will still allow plaintiffs’ lawsuits to go forward if they allege that an ‘intentional, willful, or reckless’ action or inaction by the defendant business led to the COVID-19 transmission(s) on which the plaintiff bases its claim.” The firm urges businesses to consult “with legal counsel and experts to put reasonable policies and procedures in place to limit the risks of COVID-19 exposure and spread at your business locations.” 10/27/2020
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) provides weekly webinars to address different safety and health topics. In these webinars, subject matter experts share their knowledge and provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions. Here’s the BWC safety webinar lineup for November, complete with details on how to register. 10/29/2020
Approximately $1.3 billion in dividend checks from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will be mailed to employers statewide beginning today (Friday, Oct. 23). Look for the white BWC envelope in your mail since the payments will not be electronically deposited. See this FAQ document for more information.
Also, the BWC will soon be sending 23 million additional face masks to employers. Virtually all these masks are made in Ohio, the BWC says. 10/23/2020