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What should I do if I lost my job due to COVID-19?

Ohio employment law

First and foremost, make every effort to keep you and others safe by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and taking other safety precautions, including abiding by applicable quarantine orders.

The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting the health and lives of millions of Americans, with that number expected to grow considerably. As a result of numerous and complex economic reasons, including stay-at-home orders imposed in Ohio and across the U.S., nearly all businesses are struggling to survive.

Part of that struggle, unfortunately, means millions of layoffs and furloughs, as predicted by MarketWatch last week. This trend will likely continue in the weeks and possibly months to come.

It is therefore not surprising that unemployment claims have been unprecedented, with joblessness expected to reach into the several millions.

In response to the crisis, the federal and Ohio governments have taken a number of steps over the last few weeks to help workers survive this treacherous time.

For example, Congress implemented a $2 trillion stimulus package providing for direct payments depending on your tax filing status, annual income, and number of children.

Individuals with annual adjusted gross incomes up to $75,00 will get a $1,200 payment. Those who earn more than $75,000 and less than $99,000 will receive less money. The reduction is $5 for every $100 of income over $75,000.

Married couples with a combined adjusted gross income under $150,000 should expected a $2,400 payment, with reduced payments for couples earning up to $198,000.

Those who filed as “head of household,” which usually means a single parent with kids, with an adjusted gross income of no more than $112,500, should expect a payment of $1,200, with reduced payments as income rises to $136,500.

Individuals, married couples, and heads of household within the above income limits are all eligible for additional $500 payments for each child under the age of 17.

Payments are expected to be direct deposited if the IRS has that information from your most recent filing. If they do not, your payment is expected to be mailed.

How can I get unemployment benefits if I lost my job?

There is no doubt that the stimulus will help millions of unemployed Americans, but it's critical that those who are laid off from their jobs get the unemployment benefits they need as soon as possible to make ends meet.

During such trying times, it’s critical to get legal guidance as quickly as possible. That's why it's best to consult with an experienced employment lawyer to help understand the process to apply for employment benefits for job loss resulting from the pandemic.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio has loosened some of its unemployment requirements. And while the typical waiting period has largely been waived, the system is overburdened by such high demand. You should act promptly and with diligence.
For example, keep detailed notes of your attempts to call the unemployment department but are unable to get through. And take screenshots if the online filing system locks up or crashes. This may help if there’s a dispute as to your filing date.

Additional federal stimulus legislation also expands unemployment coverage, extending to workers that are not typically covered by Ohio unemployment laws. This stimulus effort is expected to provide at least an extra $600 of federal pandemic unemployment compensation per week on top of your qualified Ohio benefit.

The Cleveland employment attorneys at Nilges Draher LLC are offering free 15-minute unemployment consultations over the phone for workers who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

During the consultation, one of our attorneys will go over information about unemployment benefits, as well as benefits you may be eligible for under other federal relief efforts such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

To get started, call us at 216-230-2955.

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires that certain employers and under certain conditions to provide workers with paid leave as follows:

  • Two weeks of paid sick leave (up to 80 hours):
    • Workers will receive 100% of their regular rate of pay (up to $511 daily and $5,110 total) if they are:
      • Under quarantine pursuant to government order or doctor’s advice; or
      • Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis.
    • Workers will receive two-thirds of their regular rate of pay (up to $200 daily and $2,000 total) if they are:
      • Caring for an individual who is under quarantine;
      • Is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; or
      • Caring for a child under the age of 18 due to school or daycare closures. These individuals are also eligible for an additional 10 weeks of paid leave (up to $200 daily and $12,000 total).

The provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is effective until December 31, 2020.

Our attorneys will help uphold your legal rights

The employment law attorneys at Nilges Draher LLC are committed to ensuring that Ohio workers are treated lawfully. If you have lost your job or didn't receive overtime pay or wages you are entitled to, we can advocate on your behalf. We also handle cases involving illegal workplace discrimination, wrongful termination, and workplace harassment.

If you have any questions or need legal help, contact us online to schedule your free consultation or call us at 216-230-2955.

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