On Tuesday, the Ohio House Civil Justice Committee held its third hearing on HB 352 – the Ohio Chamber’s Employment Law Uniformity Act. At the third hearing, opponents and interested parties of the legislation were invited to give testimony, but not a single association, individual or law firm provided written or in-person testimony.
This marks the first time no groups have opposed or taken a stance as an interested party on the Ohio Chamber’s Employment Law Uniformity Act since it was first introduced in 2000.
HB 352 is a top priority of the Ohio Chamber because the legislation makes overdo and much needed reform to Ohio’s employment discrimination laws that hurt the state’s business and legal climates. Ohio’s current workplace discrimination laws expose Ohio employers to prolonged liability faced by employers in no other state thanks to the nation’s longest statute of limitation for filing workplace discrimination lawsuits. In addition to extended liability, employers can be subjected to defending the same claim in multiple venues simultaneously since Ohio law does not currently require the exhaustion of administrative remedies prior to filing a lawsuit.
HB 352 reforms the Buckeye State’s employment discrimination laws by lowering the statute of limitation for workplace discrimination claims from six to two years, requiring the exhaustion of administrative remedies at the Ohio Civil Rights Commission prior to filing a lawsuit, removing personal liability for managers and supervisors, creating an affirmative defense employers can utilize when facing hostile work environment claims and modifying Ohio’s confusing age discrimination statutes.
The Ohio Chamber has already begun reaching out to lawmakers and key staff in the Ohio House asking for the legislation to be voted out of committee and placed on the House floor because Ohio businesses should no longer be negatively impacted by burdensome and confusing workplace discrimination laws.