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.        

Gaining More By Giving Back

Dagger Law Attorney, Brian KelsoWhat started as a way to gain more experience and meet the community turned in to a passion for Brian Kelso, attorney at Dagger Law. A few months after law school, Brian volunteered for the Fairfield County Bar Association and Southeastern Ohio Legal Service’s Pro Bono Clinic, which provides free legal services the fourth Tuesday of the month at The Rising House, 131 N. High St. from 5-7 p.m.

“As a young attorney from Cincinnati, I used the Pro Bono Clinic to be exposed to different legal issues and learn more about Fairfield County,” said Brian Kelso. “I never receive the same question twice and became a better lawyer because of it. I also developed a passion for helping those experiencing a difficult situation.”

You can find Brian at the Pro Bono Clinic every month giving back and helping people in the community. He provides legal advice on topics ranging from appropriate form filings, domestic, civil and landlord/tenant disputes.

Twice a year, Dagger Law attorneys volunteer their time to give back to the Lancaster community through the Pro Bono Clinic as well. On March 27, Nicholas Grilli, Bryan Everitt, Alyssa Parrott, Brian Shonk, Jeff Spangler and Mitchell Carnes joined Brian Kelso to offer and assist in providing free legal counsel for those in need.

“Dagger Law is incredibly supportive of the Pro Bono Clinic. The firm has committed to provide attorneys for two months out of the year. This is twice as much as any other firm in the community.” said Brian Kelso. “They’ve encouraged and supported my involvement throughout the entire process.”

UPDATE 16 JULY, 2020: Brian Kelso is no longer with Dagger Law. We are proud of the work that he did while at our firm, and continue to support the Southeast Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS) pro bono clinic. Brian has continued his pursuit of seeking equity in the criminal justice system by taking a job as the ‎Judicial Staff Attorney to Presiding Judge Lisa L. Sadler-Tenth District Court of Appeals – ‎State of Ohio.

Local Attorney Returns from Reserve Duty

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 23, 2018

Local Attorney Returns from Reserve Duty

Lancaster, Ohio – Bryan Everitt, associate at the law firm Dagger, Johnston, Miller, Ogilvie & Hampson, LLP, recently returned from San Diego where he supported the arrival of a Chilean submarine, SS-20, Thompson. The Thompson was visiting the United States as part of a program known as the Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI).

DESI was established by US Fleet Forces Command in 2001 with the goal to enhance the Navy’s capability to operate with diesel-electric submarines by partnering with South American navies.

Everitt’s role was to work with DESI. He met the submarine and assisted in getting the Chilean sailors checked in to the base and settled.

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