By: Mark Barnes
Since March, 2020, when Governor Mike DeWine declared a state emergency due to the novel coronavirus, the Ohio Workers’ Compensation system effectively slowed to a halt. The Director of Health’s Stay at Home order and increased spread of the virus dictated that the majority of Ohioans remain at home for several months.
On Friday, August 21, 2020 BWC Board of Directors approved a 10% rate cut amounting to $14.8 million less in BWC premiums for Ohio public employers. The reduction was made possible by declining injury trends and relatively low medical inflation costs. The 10% reduction represents an average statewide change to premiums and does not include costs related to the administrative cost fund or other funds BWC administers.Read more
The Board met virtually on August 21, 2020 and approved Governor DeWine’s request to send another round of face coverings to employers to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The BWC shipped 20.6 million masks to 197,000 Ohio employers as part of their Protecting Ohio’s Workforce — We’ve Got You Covered campaign. BWC will begin sending approximately 23 million masks to employers this fall, who will not be billed for the items.Read more
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors will vote at its monthly virtual meeting Sept. 25th on Governor Mike DeWine’s proposal to send Ohio employers up to $1.5 billion in dividends to ease the impact of COVID-19 on Ohio’s economy and business community. If approved, the dividend would be the second one this year to ease the pandemic’s impact.Read more
Industrial Commission Votes Unanimously to Expand Docket to All Issues
As we previously reported, the Industrial Commission of Ohio limited the types of hearings that could be heard in response to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent transition to telephone hearings. The Industrial Commission held a Special Meeting June 3 at 10:00 am to determine if it will expand the limited docket to include additional issues.
R.C. 4123.52 provides the Industrial Commission has continuing jurisdiction to modify or change its former orders. Ohio courts have held the continuing jurisdiction of the Commission is limited to five circumstances:
new and changed circumstances,
clear mistake of fact,
clear mistake of law, or
error by an inferior tribunal.