Ohio Chamber’s Employment Law Uniformity Act Takes Important First Step in the Senate, But Further Action is Needed

The Ohio Chamber’s longstanding Employment Law Uniformity Act – HB 352 – took another step towards reaching the governor’s desk and becoming law as the Ohio Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on the bill on Wednesday.

Unlike most first hearings however, the committee also heard from the bill’s proponents which include the Ohio Chamber, NFIB-Ohio, Ohio Farm Bureau, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice and SHRM-Ohio. 

For the Ohio Chamber, two members from our Labor & Employment Law Committee shared their expertise with the committee members to highlight why the enactment of HB 352 strikes the appropriate balance of reforming Ohio’s workplace anti-discrimination statutes in a way that improves the Buckeye State’s business and legal climates while also assuring employees who face discrimination at work can pursue appropriate remedies.

Under HB 352, the nation’s longest workplace discrimination statute of limitation will shrink from six years to two years, all workplace discrimination claims must begin at the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Ohio’s confusing age discrimination statutes are modified to align its procedure and remedies with all other protected classes and the Faragher-Ellerth affirmative defense is codified.

For more information about the specific provisions of HB 352, you can read my prior blogs on the legislation here and here.

The enactment of HB 352 is a top priority of the Ohio Chamber during the remaining General Assembly because for far too long the state’s business climate has suffered due to employers facing prolonged and unreasonable liability that companies operating in no other states face.