‘It basically hinges on whether there’s a good-cause reason for that refusal to return to work…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Ohio is encouraging companies to report employees who refuse to return to work in an effort to prevent residents from abusing unemployment benefits, according to Cleveland.com.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services set up a website for employers and notified companies in the state that they could use this website to keep track of which employees haven’t returned to work, and whether their jobs are still available.
Under Ohio law, these employees would not qualify for unemployment benefits.
“Ohio law prohibits individuals from receiving unemployment benefits if they refuse to accept offers of suitable work, or quit work, without good cause,” the department said in an email to the state’s companies.
“If you have employees who refuse to return to work or quit work, it’s important that you let the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) know so we can make accurate eligibility determinations,” it said.
If employees refuse to return to work, an administrative review board will determine if they can receive unemployment benefits.
This process isn’t new, according to the department’s director, Kimberly Hall.
“We’ve always had an administrative review process,” she said. “It basically hinges on whether there’s a good-cause reason for that refusal to return to work.”
The board will take into consideration any safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic, but unemployment attorneys told Cleveland.com that these concerns will be difficult to prove.
Ohio’s new reporting website is an effort to prevent citizens from taking advantage of the expanded unemployment benefits passed by the federal government to combat the economic effects of the nationwide shutdown.
Many Republicans opposed this expansion for this exact reason, warning that a boost in benefits could incentivize employees not to return to work, since they might make more money while on unemployment than they would in their day-to-day jobs.
“This bill pays you more not to work than if you were working,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said last month.