Q: A salaried restaurant manager in Ohio with us being closed due to COVID-19 does my employer still have to pay me?
A: In a word, no. Ohio employment at will law says that, absent an agreement otherwise, an employer has no obligation to pay an employee after terminating the employment other than paying the employee for work done up to that point.
However, loss of work due to a coronavirus shutdown ordered by the Department of Health qualifies you for unemployment compensation, if you are otherwise eligible. In addition, according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS), Governor DeWine has or will issue an Executive Order that waives the normal, seven day waiting period for coronavirus shutdowns. In other words, if you apply today you should start receiving benefits as of today.
Employers get a break too. According to ODJFS, unemployment compensation payments will not be charged to the account of the employer for health authority ordered coronavirus shutdowns. Instead, such amounts will be "mutualized," or paid by the State of Ohio.
Here is the ODJFS FAQ on coronavirus unemployment compensation benefits:
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