With businesses both locally and statewide forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is instructing employers planning layoffs or shutdowns to make sure their personnel know the mass layoff number to speed the processing of unemployment benefits.
The number is 2000180.
“This measure will expedite the processing of benefits for individuals who lose their jobs as a result of the pandemic and allow them to receive their first benefit payments as quickly as possible,” ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall said. “We want to make sure all employers are aware of this number so that we can provide seamless service when processing claims.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) provides protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.
With the potential of large layoffs due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the labor department said the economic impact of those layoffs would hit employees and their families hard.
The labor department said that as a result of the inability of the employee and their family to purchase goods and services, the larger, overall community would experience a negative impact on their economic conditions.
It is feared the business climate brought about by the coronavirus pandemic will cause a widespread domino effect as employees with insufficient funds find themselves unable to purchase products and services in their communities.
The federal government is still in the process of working out the details of a program to help displaced workers, with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin quoted as saying “We’re looking at sending checks to Americans immediately, and I mean now, in the next two weeks.”
In the meantime, ODJS is also providing instructions for employers to share with their employees about how to apply for benefits.
Ohioans can apply for unemployment benefits online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at www.unemployment.ohio.gov.
Claims can also be filed by phone at 877-OHIO-JOB (1-877-644-6562) Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.