Dem Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Support Ohio Workers, Families Facing Mass Layoffs
Bill comes amid uncertainty as fate of GM Lordstown hangs in the balance
December 13, 2018
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Democratic State Reps. Glenn Holmes (D-Girard), Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) and Adam Miller (D-Columbus) today announced legislation to help Ohio workers, their families and local communities affected by large-scale closures and mass layoffs. The proposal comes on the heels of GM’s announced plans to shutter is Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant, which would result in the direct loss of 1,500 jobs.

“I’m happy to support efforts to assist and care for the workers, families and local communities impacted by the GM Lordstown’s closure,” said Holmes, “This bill is critical to empower the state to better assist communities facing sudden unemployment of this magnitude.”

The Democratic-sponsored bill would expedite unemployment benefits, provide additional resources to process claims and offer additional qualifying benefits to communities faced with unemployment from mass layoffs and plant closures. In addition, some workers under the plan would see extended benefits if they face structural unemployment challenges.

“Like the GM plant closure in Lordstown, the industrial City of Lorain faced similar layoffs when Ford decided to close its doors to more than 1,700 employees in 2005,” said Ramos. “The closure devastated my district, which is still recovering today. We cannot allow companies to keep prioritizing corporate profits and stock prices over the wellbeing of their employees and their families. This legislation will ensure more is being done to expedite unemployment claims processing and minimize hardship for those affected by mass layoffs in our state.”

The bill would define a mass layoff as any job loss greater than 200 employees over a seven day period. When employers know that a closure or mass layoff is coming, they will be required to inform the state at least 30 days in advance. This will enable the Department of Job and Family Service’s Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations, as well as other state agencies, to prepare the necessary resources to assist workers, their families, and communities affected by mass layoffs.

“I’ve seen firsthand the devastation a plant closure can have on a community when the West Columbus Delphi plant closed,” added Miller. “It devastated the community and we are still recovering. Too often, workers and their families are left to fend for themselves in rebuilding their lives. We need to give them additional, efficient support from day one. They are faced with immediate financial crisis, and our state response should meet that urgency.”

Once introduced, the bill will be referred to a committee for its initial hearings.

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