Protected classes. The Ohio Civil Rights Act specifically prohibits employers from eliciting or attempting to elicit any information concerning the race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry of a job applicant. There is an exception for questions that are based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). The law covers private employers with four or more employees and all state and local government agencies, regardless of size Ohio Rev. Code § 4112.01 et seq.).
Disabilities. The Ohio Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on disability. Examples of diseases and conditions that are specifically named by the statute as disabilities include:
• Orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments
• Human immunodeficiency virus infection
• Intellectual disability
State law allows preemployment inquiries if the questions are designed to determine whether the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job or whether the applicant can perform the job without significantly increasing health hazards to himself or others (Ohio Admin. Code § 4112-5-08).
Criminal history. State employers may not inquire about criminal backgrounds on job applications (Ohio Rev. Code § 9.73).