What You Need to Know About Ohio’s Labor Laws for Remote Workers

Ohio has specific regulations applying to remote workers. Here’s everything you need to know about Ohio’s labor laws for remote workers.

In response to Covid-19, most company’s shifted to the online setting and have continued to operate via a fully remote or hybrid format. Ohio has created and amended labor laws to contend with the ubiquity of remote work.

Federal Labor Laws

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers must pay for any hours they know or have reason to believe their remote employees have worked. Employers must have constructive knowledge of their employee’s regular work hours, but workers must report any additional hours they work.

If employees fail to notify their employer of any unscheduled work hours, employers are not responsible for ensuring their employees receive adequate compensation for any unreported hours.

Remote Work: Requirements

Under Ohio Administrative Rule 3341-5-42, telecommuters must ensure their remote workplace meets the following criteria:

a. The worksite must provide adequate Internet access. The employee bears the burden of purchasing, installing, supporting, and maintaining their Internet service.

b. The employee, their department, or unit must install, support, and maintain any additional accessories to allow the employee to complete their requisite assignments (e.g. monitor, printer, keyboard, etc).

c. The employee is responsible for having a safe and functioning remote workplace environment.

Please note the aforementioned requirements may provide more flexibility in light of the recent pandemic.

Related: Statute of Limitations for Employment Claims in Ohio

Workers’ Compensation Laws

Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws require employers to provide compensation insurance for all employees. Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) compensates employees for work-related injuries or diseases. The BWC will also recompense the survivors for a work-related death.

If you work for a state-fund employer, the BWC pays medical benefits directly to the injured workers. A managed care organization (MCO) will also help injured workers rehabilitate so they can eventually return to work. A self-insuring employer pays medical benefits directly to their injured employees.

Ohio’s workers’ compensation laws protect remote employees.

Qualifications for Workers’ Compensation Benefits as a Remote Worker

Under Ohio’s House Bill 447, a remote worker must prove the following to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits:

a. They sustained an injury or disability during or as a result of their employment

b. Their employment activity involved a special hazard causing their injury or disability

c. They sustained an injury or disability while performing an employment activity with exclusive benefits for their employer

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Ohio workers can file a workers’ compensation claim if they sustained an injury or disability while working. Survivors of a deceased worker who died due to a work-related accident can file a claim to receive death benefits. Remote Ohio employees may also file a workers’ compensation claim.

You are eligible to file a claim if you are:

1. A doctor treating an employee’s work-related injury or disability

The doctor will file a claim to the BWC or MCO within 24 hours of the employee’s visit. After the BWC receives the claim, it will notify the injured worker and provide a BWC ID card via mail.

2. The injured worker or an interested party (e.g. employer, spouse, etc.)

The injured worker or interested party can file a claim online, via mail or fax, or through the phone.

a. Online: The claimant must complete the First Report of Injury, Occupational Disease or Death (FROI).

b. Mail or Fax: Print and submit a completed FROI to BWC by mail or fax.

c. Phone: Call BWC at 1-800-644-6292 during their regular business hours and a customer service representative will assist in submitting the FROI.

Related: Taking Time Off Work in Ohio

The statute of limitations to file a claim is as follows:

1. If the injury or death occurred before September 29, 2017, the claimant must file a notice with BWC or the Ohio Industrial Commission (IC) within two years of the injury or death.

2. If the injury or death occurred on or after September 29, 2017, the claimant must file a notice with BWC or IC within one year of the injury or death.

3. If a claim arises out of an occupational disease, the claimant must file a notice of injury or death:

a. Within one year after death; or

b. One year from the most recent of the following dates:

The date the employee was first diagnosed with an occupational-related disease; or

The date the employee was first treated for the disease; or

The date the employee first quit their job because of the disease

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Ohio Labor Laws for Remote Workers, get your free consultation with one of Employment Attorneys in Ohio today!