Ohio’s new employment discrimination law, the Employment Law Uniformity Act (the “Act”) took effect April 15, 2021. This law (House Bill 352) has already created a landslide of new employment lawsuits chiefly because the statute of limitations for the filing of employment discrimination claims has been reduced from 6 to 2 years. To counterbalance this reduced statute of limitations, the Act requires plaintiff-employees to first file a charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, but extends the time limit for doing so from 180 days to 2 years, consequently unifying this deadline with the new statute of limitations.
The law provides for certain other employer protections, however, in the short term, given the exponential increase in lawsuits alleging employment discrimination, employers should keep an eye on their mail and other deliveries so as not to miss any deadlines for responding to litigation. If the employer has a statutory agent, it should make sure that its statutory agent filing with the Ohio Secretary of State is up to date and reflects the actual statutory agent and its address for the employer entity.
Employers may be surprised to be targeted for such lawsuits but should be prepared to respond in a timely manner if sued.
If you have any questions about this topic, please contact Dana Rose or your Weston Hurd attorney.