As Ohio begins the process of re-opening businesses that were shut down to limit the spread of coronavirus, employers will begin offering previously furloughed or laid off workers their positions back. However, many business owners are concerned that their former employees will not accept their old job back due to federal supplemental unemployment benefits that provide an additional $600 per week to individuals receiving unemployment.
This supplemental benefit is concerning to employers because Ohioans earning less than $56,160 per year will make more in a week on unemployment than they would otherwise make working – creating a disincentive for employees to go back to work.
Yet, employers and employees should know that if an individual turns down suitable employment – such as their previous position – their unemployment benefits are suspended. This means individuals will no longer be eligible for benefits unless they can show there was good cause for their refusal.
For employers who want to bring their workforce back, it is important for them to report any individuals who refused to return to their prior position to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). Employers can now utilize this form to inform ODJFS when an employee refuses to work, which will help ODJFS make accurate eligibility determinations and keep unemployment benefits available for those who need it.
Additional resources for employers seeking information about unemployment can be found on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services employer page.