Ohio Employer Required Posters

by Jeff J. Spangler, Partner with Dagger Law in Lancaster, Ohio

Jeff J. Spangler, Partner at Dagger LawNumerous state and federal laws require Ohio employers to post specific employment related signs in conspicuous locations throughout the workplace. These required posters are designed to ensure that employees are aware of guidelines and laws that could affect them in the workplace. Certain posters are required to be posted by all Ohio employers; other posters are unique to certain industries.

The Ohio Fair Employment Practices Law poster is required to be posted by all employers in the workplace. This mandatory poster generally states that Ohio law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, military service, nationality, and other protected classes, and that the Ohio Civil Rights Commission is available to investigate any employee complaints.

The state of Ohio requires that all employers post the Ohio minimum wage, which is different from the Federal minimum wage. Ohio employers also must have a sign displaying a valid employer’s Workers’ Compensation Certificate. Additionally, all places of employment in Ohio must post a “No-Smoking” poster at each entrance. Many Ohio employers are required to have an Ohio Minor Labor Law poster, which advises employees younger than 18 years of age how much they are legally allowed to work.

Various federal laws also require mandatory postings in Ohio businesses. Similar to the Ohio Fair Employment Practices Law poster, federal law requires that employers display the “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law” poster, which is meant to protect employees from workplace discrimination. Federal law also requires employers to post information relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which details the minimum wage, child labor laws, and overtime requirements. Depending on their size, Ohio employers may additionally be required to post the “Rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act,” which is also referred to as FMLA.

Dozens of other laws and regulations mandate posters (unemployment compensation rights, Occupational Safety and Health rights, to name just a few), depending on the size of the business, or even across types of industries. Businesses and employers may also choose to post other signs (for example, prohibiting concealed weapons on their premises). Failure to follow “poster laws” could subject employers to monetary fines and penalties, and also could restrict their ability to defend claims made by employees.  

Many fee-based services are available to assist employers with required posters. Businesses are encouraged to annually audit their posters for compliance with “poster laws,” particularly given the wide array of laws that are involved. For assistance with or clarification of “poster laws” as it relates to your business, please contact the attorneys at Dagger Law.

Easement Case Closed by Bryan Everitt

“A farm is more than land and crops. It is a family’s heritage and future.”

Dagger Law and Hocking Valley Title recently closed an agricultural easement from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. These cases are often long and complex, but are a tremendous benefit for local farmers and the community.

The purpose of an easement is to preserve farmland which has often been in the family for generations.

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Marijuana Laws in Ohio: Impact on Employers

by Jeff. J. Spangler

In recent years, the use and legality of marijuana accelerated to the forefront as one of the most talked about legal topics. In 2016, Ohio enacted a bill that partially legalizes medicinal marijuana use throughout the state. Recreational use of marijuana remains illegal. Numerous employment sector questions were specifically addressed in the Ohio law.

In 2016, Ohio House Bill 523 was signed into law, making it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical purposes. After two years, the law mandates a state-run system with dispensaries to buy the marijuana, and regulates producers. As the law currently stands, there can be as many as 60 dispensaries and 24 growers throughout the state. While medicinal marijuana is not yet widely available in Ohio, employers can expect growth in use and availability in the coming months.

Patient ID cards are required to establish the patient as qualified under Ohio state law, and patient must register with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy. A patient’s registration is not publicly available, so employers will be unable to easily verify an employee’s possible registration. Currently, 21 different conditions qualify for patient medicinal use (example qualified conditions include chronic pain, epilepsy, cancer, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The Ohio State Medical Board has discretion to add additional qualifying conditions.

Ohio’s approval of medicinal marijuana comes with multiple other restrictions. Medicinal marijuana may not be “smoked” in Ohio (although “vaping” is allowed). Instead, oils, edibles, patches, and other marijuana related items will be sold in medical marijuana dispensaries. The law also limits how much THC can be present in products. Ohio state law does not permit a patient to grow marijuana, even if for medicinal use.

Employers are permitted to discipline employees for recreational marijuana use, even if the marijuana was legally purchased outside the State. Federal law still bans possession of marijuana, so employers are permitted to discipline employees for using marijuana (including for medicinal purposes), and employers are not required to accommodate medicinal use employees under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ohio House Bill 523 additionally specifies that the law does not authorize employees to sue an employer for adverse employment action relating to medicinal marijuana use. The law goes further: it provides that employers are not required to curtail adverse employment action due to an employee’s use, possession or distribution of medicinal marijuana.

Many highly regulated professions (CDL drivers, for example) should retain their strict “no tolerance” policies in order to comply with other federal and state statutes and regulations. Properly documented and administered drug testing policies also remain permitted, subject to confidentiality and non-discrimination requirements.

Even in the face of increasing social tolerances, Ohio employers should still mandate drug-free workplaces, but remain nevertheless mindful of the ever-changing legal regulations related to medicinal marijuana use. For assistance and guidance on specific issues relating to this unique area of employment law, please contact the attorneys at Dagger Law.