State reps send letter to DeWine asking for additional unemployment expansion due to coronavirus

Posted at 1:31 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 13:31:51-04

COLUMBUS — Two Ohio representatives sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday asking him to let people who fear returning to work due to the coronavirus pandemic the opportunity to continue to receive unemployment benefits.

The letter was coauthored by Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) and Tavia Galonski (D-Akron).

The two urged the governor to issue a directive to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services that they feel is “in the best interest of Ohio employees.”

“There is great uncertainty shared by Ohioans about returning to work because of the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), COVID-19 testing and concerns about their family’s safety. If an Ohioan decides it is in the best interest of their family to not return to work because of this pandemic, they should continue to be eligible for unemployment. It is as simple as that,” said Rep. Sobecki.

The letter outlines the following requests:

  • Ohioans should continue to be eligible for unemployment if they do not return to work because they feel unsafe due to health concerns.
  • Ohioans should continue to be eligible for unemployment if they do not return to work because they provide care for a family member who had COVID-19.
  • Ohioans should continue to be eligible for unemployment if they do not return to work because they do not have access to childcare.

“On May 1, some Ohioans will be forced to decide between their health or earning a living. That’s an unfair burden to place on anyone, especially during a global pandemic. We need a healthy workforce, but we also need to ensure that Ohioans can make autonomous decisions about their health. We are facing a global crisis unlike any of us have ever seen and as the Governor has said, protecting lives is the most important objective. We are calling on the administration to give Ohioans more leeway so they can continue to make the best decisions for their health,” said Rep. Galonski.

You can read the full letter, here.

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