Ohio Termination (with Discharge) laws & HR compliance analysis

Ohio Termination (with Discharge): What you need to know

Ohio is an “employment-at-will” state. This means that either the employer or employee may terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless a law or contract exists to the contrary. However, a number of state statutes and several court decisions have established important exceptions to employment at will.
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As a general rule, if a federal, state, or local law grants employees the right to engage in an activity or to enjoy a benefit, employees should never be disciplined, discharged, or otherwise retaliated against for requesting or attempting to do so.
To list a few key examples, state law prohibits employers from discharging employees for engaging in the following activities:
Jury duty. It is illegal to retaliate against an employee for receiving and responding to a jury summons or for serving on a jury (OH Rev. Code Sec. 2313.19).
Political activity. It is unlawful for an employer to use threats, expressed or implied, to influence or attempt to influence an employee's political opinions or activities (OH Rev. Code Sec. 3599.05).
Subpoena. Employers are prohibited from discharging or threatening to discharge an employee because the employee was absent from work pursuant to a subpoena to attend proceedings in a juvenile case. (OH Rev. Code Sec. 2151.211).
This law does not protect employees who are summoned to attend juvenile proceedings (Carter v. King Wrecking Co., No. C-090208 (OH App. Ct. 2009)).
In this case, an employer discharged an employee who was absent from work to appear in juvenile court in response to a summons. The court held that the employee was not protected by the law. It ...

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