October 19, 2020 Monday Message from the McDonald Hopkins Public Law Team

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Monday, October 19

To our friends, clients and colleagues in local and regional government, higher education and the nonprofit sector, welcome to our latest Monday Message from the Public Law Group at McDonald Hopkins. In today’s email, assembled by attorneys David Gunning, Margaret O’Bryon, Kelsey Smith and Kevin Butler, you’ll find insights into areas of law we’re watching on your behalf.

In today’s edition:

  • Next in our monthly segment, ‘5 Questions With’: Mayor Katie Gallagher
  • Ohio workers’ comp updates: new expirations on open claims
  • Department of Health releases updated order for Ohio senior center openings
  • Cleveland Innovation Project announces decade-long tech initiatives

Next in our monthly segment, ‘5 Questions With’: Mayor Katie Gallagher

5 Questions

In today’s edition of the Monday Message, we’re excited to continue our series, “5 Questions With” – a monthly segment in which we ask local, regional and statewide leaders to pass along their wisdom on items of current and lasting interest, all in a brief, easy-to-read format.

For our latest installment we’ve turned to Katie Gallagher, mayor of the City of Brooklyn now in her second term, to provide her thoughts on the benefit of thinking regionally, what the coronavirus pandemic forces cities to do, and how “company towns” overcome the loss of major employers. One item of particular concern: the General Assembly’s consideration of legislation we’ve previously covered that would take tax dollars away from cities whose usual commuting employees are working from home during the pandemic. “We’ve gotten good support from our legislature with regard to federal relief dollars,” Gallagher says, “but we don’t want to wake up each day fighting our friends in Columbus over measures, like these, that could bankrupt us overnight.”

Read Gallagher’s answers to our five questions here or click the banner above.

Ohio workers’ comp updates: new expirations on open claims

We continue today our series of brief updates on Ohio workers’ compensation law aided by our Public Law team member and veteran workers’ compensation attorney Margaret O’Bryon. Margaret has tracked changes to the workers’ comp statute that went into effect on Sept. 15, 2020, with the passage of Ohio H.B. 81. All employers covered by the workers’ compensation system are wise to take note.

Today we discuss an important change to workers’ compensation law under H.B. 81, which addresses the length of time a claim remains open. The new law’s amendment to R.C. 4123.52(A) bars modifications or changes to claims under the continuing jurisdiction of the Industrial Commission to five years after the later of (a) the last date of payment of compensation or (b) the last date of medical services rendered. Previously, the date of payment of medical services controlled.

This change has the effect of shortening the period of time during which a claim remains “alive.” For example, a claim will expire or end under the following events:

  • For a date of injury (DOI) on or after Aug. 25, 2006, five years from the DOI, the date of payment of compensation or wages, or medical bill payment, whichever is later in time.
  • For a DOI between Dec. 11, 1967 and Aug. 24, 2006, 10 years from the date of last compensation, wages, or medical bill payment if it is a lost time claim (a claim that includes time for the claimant’s missed work).
  • For a DOI between Oct. 20, 1987 and Aug. 24, 2006, six years from the DOI or last medical bill payment for a medical-only claim (no lost time).
  • For a DOI between Dec. 11, 1967 and Oct. 19, 1987: six years from the DOI for a medical only claim.
  • For a DOI prior to Dec. 11, 1967, ten years from the DOI, payment of compensation or wages, or medical bill payment.

The amendment applies to claims arising on or after July 1, 2020, and became effective on September 15. Contact Margaret O’Bryon for assistance with these issues or any workers’ compensation matters.

Department of Health releases updated order for Ohio senior center openings

On Oct. 16, 2020, Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes signed a new public health order amending the guidelines for the reopening of Ohio senior centers and adult daycare centers.

The testing requirements under the public health order were updated to remain consistent with the Ohio Departments of Aging and Health. All adult day service participants and staff are subject to COVID-19 testing at least every other week. Senior center staff are also subject to testing at least every other week and strategic testing of participants is required. Strategic testing may include testing participants that are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, participants presenting COVID-19 symptoms or participants with suspected exposure to COVID-19. In addition, participants are not permitted to return to any facility if they are unable to wear masks.

The guidelines outlined in the original order issued August 31 remain largely unchanged. Facilities must continue to practice proper social distancing, clearly post reopening guidelines, offer additional protocols for vulnerable individuals, and plan facility activities in accordance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.

For more in depth coverage of the health order and its requirements you can read our initial review from September 14 here.

Cleveland Innovation Project announces decade-long tech initiatives

The Greater Cleveland Partnership announced last week that three northeast Ohio business sectors – manufacturing, health care and water technology – would receive the attention of and dollars offered through the Cleveland Innovation Project, a consortium of civic groups intent on establishing Cleveland as a Midwest hub for tech growth over the next decade.

The Cleveland Innovation Project is made up of the GCP, the Cleveland Foundation, Fund For Our Economic Future, JumpStart and Team NEO.

Four initiatives, the group announced, will drive innovation within each of the three sectors: an expansion of local post-secondary digital and STEM education and training programs; creation of capital sources to grow technological innovation in each sector; “(ensuring) every Greater Cleveland resident has access to in-home high-quality broadband for online learning, working, and living by 2022”; and development of the region’s Health-Tech Corridor and Opportunity Corridor.

Read the release here. The effort may lead to significant grant opportunities and partnerships in education the nonprofit world, and we’ll continue to identify opportunities and be available for counsel and advocacy.

If you have questions or need assistance on any of the matters we’ve covered above or with your legal needs in general, please feel free to contact any member of the McDonald Hopkins Public Law team.

Have a great week!

Teresa Metcalf Beasley
Chair, Public Law

©2020 McDonald Hopkins LLC All Rights Reserved
This Publication is designed to provide current information for our clients, friends and their advisors regarding important legal developments. The foregoing discussion is general information rather than specific legal advice. Because it is necessary to apply legal principles to specific facts, always consult your legal advisor before using this discussion as a basis for a specific action.

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