flag 28578 640 (3)

Form Focus: Ohio Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program Agreement

23 Oct, 2023 Frank Ferreri

flag 28578 640 (3)

Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) -- In Ohio, the Bureau of Workers' Compensation may issue a grant to defray the costs incurred by an employer who elects to participate in BWC's Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program.

Under the program, an employer may receive reimbursement of employer written policy development relating to substance use issues, legal review of employer policies relating to substance use issues, employee training, supervisor training, and employee drug testing to better hire, manage, and retain workers in recovery. Ohio considers the reimbursement to be incidental to and necessary for the prevention of industrial accidents and diseases.

To participate in the program, Ohio requires employers to submit an agreement, which covers the following items.

TopicsAgreement Terms
EligibilityBWC shall verify that the applicant employer is an active, timely premium payroll customer meeting all eligibility criteria set forth in the BWC SURWSP Policy, which is incorporated by reference into the agreement and may be amended from time to time by BWC. Acceptance of the employer into the SURWSP is contingent upon the employer meeting all eligibility criteria.
Employer responsibilitiesAn employer participating in the BWC SURWSP promises to fully comply with the program requirements as outlined in the program application and the BWC SURWSP Policy, all of which are fully incorporated into the agreement by reference, as may be amended from time to time by BWC.
The employer will be required to provide BWC with documentation of itemized expenses, as specified in the BWC SURWSP Policy, to receive reimbursement under the program. This documentation may include, but is not limited to:
(1) The employer’s paid invoice.
(2) A copy of the canceled check or other form of payment to verify the expenditure.
Distribution of grant fundsSubject to the conditions precedent in the agreement and subject to available BWC resources, BWC shall reimburse the employer its eligible expenses for employer written policy development relating to substance use issues, legal review of employer policies relating to substance use issues, employee training, supervisor training, and employee drug testing, in accordance with the BWC SURWSP Policy incorporated by reference into the agreement and may be amended from time to time by BWC.
DisqualificationIf for any reason the employer participating
in BWC’s SURWSP fails to satisfy the program requirements
as established in the program application, the BWC SURWSP
Policy, and this Agreement, BWC may disqualify the employer from the SURWSP.
Disqualification will result in the termination of BWC’s obligations under the agreement.
AuditsBWC reserves the right to audit employer use of program funds, and to recover misappropriated or improperly expended funds.
Recovery of fundsBWC reserves the right to recover grant monies by one or more of the following methods:
(1) Billing the employer for the grant money received.
(2) Forwarding the employer’s information to the Office of the Attorney General of Ohio for collection,
(3) Set-off.
(4) Recoupment.
(5) Other administrative, civil, and/ or legal remedy.
BWC disclaimerIf implemented correctly by the employer, the goal of the SURWSP is to lessen the impact of substance use disorders on Ohio’s workforce, help Ohio’s employers keep employees in recovery at work, assist employers hiring and managing employees in recovery, and promote a safe and healthy workforce, and, in so doing, to substantially reduce or eliminate injury and illness in the workplace. BWC does not guarantee or warrant that the implementation of such a plan will result in a substantial reduction or elimination of injuries and illnesses in the workplace. In the event of an injury or
occupational disease arising from the implementation of the program, the employer and the employee’s sole and exclusive
remedy shall be pursuant to workers’ compensation laws of
the appropriate jurisdiction. In no event shall BWC be liable
for any damages in contract or in tort.
Conflicts of interest and ethics complianceAn employer participating in the program affirms that it presently has no interest and shall not acquire any interest, direct or indirect, which would conflict, in any manner or degree, with the performance of services that are required to be performed under any resulting agreement. In addition, the employer affirms that a person who is or may become an agent of the employer, not having such interest upon execution of the agreement shall likewise advise the Bureau in the event it acquires such interest during the course of the agreement.
The employer agrees to adhere to all ethics laws contained in
Chapters 102 and 2921 of the Ohio Revised Code governing
ethical behavior, understands that such provisions apply to
persons doing or seeking to do business with the BWC, and
agrees to act in accordance with the requirements of such provisions; and warrants that it has not paid and will not pay,
has not given and will not give, any remuneration or thing of
value directly or indirectly to the BWC or any of its board
members, officers, employees, or agents, or any third party
in any of the engagements of the agreement or otherwise,
including, but not limited to a finder’s fee, cash solicitation fee, or a fee for consulting, lobbying, or otherwise.
Nondiscrimination and equal employment opportunityThe employer will comply with all state and federal laws regarding equal employment opportunity and fair labor and employment practices, including Ohio Revised Code Section 125.111 and all related Executive Orders. Ohio encourages the employer to purchase goods and services from Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Encouraging
Diversity, Growth and Equity (EDGE) vendors.
ModificationsThe parties may in writing and by mutual
agreement, amend, modify, supplement, or rescind the terms of the agreement.
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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Frank encourages everyone to consider helping out the Kind Souls Foundation and Kids' Chance of America.

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