The Ohio Fair Employment Practice Law prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of disability. The Law applies to all public employers and private employers with four or more employees. The term "disability" is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, including caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, and working (OH Rev. Code Sec. 4112.01(A)(13)). The definition also includes a record of an impairment, or being regarded as having an impairment.
Physical examinations. The Ohio Civil Rights Commission has issued regulations regarding preemployment physical examinations (OH Admin. Code Sec. 4112-5-08). According to the regulations, employers may require job applicants to undergo a physical examination after a conditional offer of employment has been extended if examinations are used:
• To determine whether an applicant can perform the job without significantly increasing the occupational hazards to himself or herself, to others, to the general public, or to the work facilities;
• To determine whether the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation;
• To establish a baseline for health records and facilitate preventive medicine programs; or
• For other reasons demonstrated by the employer to be valid.
Comparison with federal law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) also allows an employer to require a physical exam after an offer of employment has been made. However, the ADA permits a physical examination only if it is given to all prospective employees in the same job category. There is no ADA provision that permits ...