NFIB Court Victory in Ohio

Date: July 30, 2021

End To Temporary Federally Funded Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Programs Upheld by Court of Common Pleas

COLUMBUS (July 30, 2021) – NFIB applauds yesterday’s decision in The State of Ohio, et al. v. Michael DeWine, et al, in which the Court of Common Pleas for Franklin County, Ohio found that Governor Mike DeWine acted within his powers when he ended Ohio’s participation in the temporary federally funded pandemic unemployment insurance programs. NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case the brief with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in support of the governor’s action.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Michael J. Holbrook in his decision to reject efforts to restore the extra unemployment benefits in Ohio said “Indeed, the Court simply cannot legislate from the bench and overlook the clear terms of (Ohio law.)”

“Governor DeWine is acting well within his legal authority to end participation in this federally funded program that he has determined incentivizes unemployment and frustrates Ohio’s recovery. This decision is welcome news,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center.

As public-health conditions have improved and restrictions have lifted, businesses across the country have begun reopening to meet a resurgence in consumer demand.  There are a record number of job openings, but not enough workers to fill them.  Generous, pandemic-related unemployment benefits have suppressed the labor supply by making unemployment nearly as profitable—and in some cases more profitable—than work.  This helps explain why employers hired fewer workers than expected in April 2021 even as businesses could not find enough workers to fill open positions.

In NFIB’s monthly jobs report, 46% of small business owners reported job openings that could not be filled, which is historically high and above the 48-historical average of 22%. A record number of employers continue to report that there are few or no qualified applicants for open positions.

“Short-term benefit payments exacerbate a long-term jobs shortage problem, and in the end, people are far better off employed, to gain experience and skills, and help the whole economy recover,” said Roger Geiger, Executive Director for NFIB in Ohio. “Nearly half of Ohio’s small business owners are struggling to find employees to fill open positions. Now is the time to strongly encourage everyone to get back to work. We appreciate Judge Holbrook not legislating from the bench.”

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and the U.S. Supreme Court.

The issue was appealed and NFIB also joined in filing a new Amicus Brief

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