In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio House of Representatives has introduced legislation that would amend section 4123.68 of the Revised Code to include COVID-19 in the list of scheduled occupational diseases. This would create the rebuttable presumption that employees required to work outside the home, who contract COVID-19, did so in the course of, and arising out of their employment. The amended section of the statute reads as follows:
COVID-19 contracted by an employee required to work by the employee’s employer outside of the employee’s home during the emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D, issued March 9, 2020, constitutes a presumption, which may be refuted by affirmative evidence, that COVID-19 was contracted in the course of and arising out of the employee’s employment outside of the employee’s home. This division applies only to claims arising during the period of the emergency declared by Executive Order 2020-01D, issued on March 9, 2020, and to claims arising during the fourteen day period after that emergency ends.
Companion legislation introduced contemporaneously, would limit the presumption to peace officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers. Peace officer and emergency medical worker have the same meaning as in section 4123.026 of the Revised Code.
Neither piece of legislation has advanced beyond the introductory phase. We will continue to monitor this legislation and provide updates as they become available.
Please visit Taft’s COVID-19 Toolkit for all of our updates on the coronavirus.