House Bill 352 is being considered by the business-dominated Ohio legislature concerning employment discrimination changes. This affects only state law and procedures. Included within its provisions is the prerequisite that all claims be filed with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, with a later opportunity to go to court with a right to sue letter. This mirrors federal EEOC claims. The bill eliminates individual liability, even for discriminating supervisors or owners (except for retaliation claims). It decreases the statute of limitations for discrimination claims from six years to two years, following conclusion of any investigation by the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and it reforms the confusing procedures with age discrimination claims. See Proposed legislation
Immunity Legislation Under Covid 19
Senate Bill 308 gives immunity to all essential businesses, from grocery stores to meat packing plants. This would allow businesses to potentially flaunt safety rules and CDC guidelines and force employees to work under unsafe conditions. Workers compensation laws likely offer only weak protection for employees. Moreover the bill is retroactive to early December of 2019, for no apparent reason. The bill is portrayed as being pro business enabiling employers wide protection if they take precautions to insure a safe workplace. The bill recognizes new immunity protections for health care workers but currently has overly broad protections which do not recognize the need to limit immunity to Covid 19 conditions. The bill also has no effective end date and gives immunity to all businesses, regardless of Covid 19 causation.
Work is needed to craft a more balanced bill, designed to meet its overall purposes but still protect consumers.