Ohio: Statewide Employment Discrimination Statute Reformed


All Employers of OH Employees


April 15, 2021


Contact HR On-Call

(888) 378-2456

On January 12, 2021, Ohio Governor DeWine signed into law the Employment Law Uniformity Act (H.B. 352), implementing major reforms to the statewide employment discrimination statute (Chapter 4112).  These changes impact how employees file charges, the statute of limitations for claims, supervisor liability, and more. Key provisions that impact employers include:

  • Administrative Exhaustion Requirement: Employees must file a charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) prior to filing a lawsuit under the discrimination statute. The time period to file a charge is two years.
  • Statute of Limitations Reduced: Employees have a reduced two-year period to sue under Chapter 4112, though such period is tolled while an employee claim is pending with the OCRC. Other employment-related claims have also had their statute of limitations reduced from six years to two.
  • Damage Caps: There is a maximum cap for compensatory and punitive damages in tort actions, which now includes court claims under Chapter 4112.
  • Supervisor Liability: Managers or supervisors can no longer be sued under Chapter 4112 unless they are the employer (such as in a sole proprietorship) or acted outside the scope of employment.
  • Age Discrimination: The number of remedies for age discrimination claims has been reduced and simplified, and uses the same statute of limitations/administrative exhaustion requirements as other types of discrimination claims.
  • Affirmative Defense for Hostile Work Environment: Employers are shielded from liability in hostile work environment claims in cases where the employer took reasonable care to prevent or correct the harassment, and the employee failed to take advantage of the corrective opportunity.

Action Items

  1. Have harassment investigation and response procedures updated.
  2. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2021 ManagEase