The start of 2021, however, provides Ohio businesses much-needed reform of this previously broken law. Earlier this week, Governor DeWine signed House Bill 352 [pdf].
Among its key reforms, H.B. 352:
- Creates a universal two-year statute of limitations for all employment discrimination claims.
- Requires individuals to file an administrative charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission as a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit.
- Unifies the filing of age discrimination claims to the same procedures and remedies as all other protected classes.
- Eliminates individual statutory liability for managers and supervisors.
- Caps noneconomic and punitive damages based on the size of the employer.
- Establishes an affirmative defense to hostile workplace sexual harassment claims not alleging that did not result in an adverse, tangible employment action, when 1) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent or promptly correct the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice or harassing behavior, and 2) the employee failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to otherwise avoid the alleged harm.