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Protect Your Company Immediately!

It’s REALLY time to update your handbooks and hiring materials. Attorneys always tell clients to update handbooks and policies, but not all clients listen. But, this is one you just don’t want to miss. For the first time, an Ohio court has held that it is permissible to have employees agree to a shorter period to sue than what is provided by law.

Ohio law creates deadlines during which an employee must bring a claim or it’s lost forever. This period is called a “statute of limitations”. Ohio statutes for some of the most common employment claims can be as long as six (6) years.

That means, for example, an aggrieved employee can take up to six years after being fired to bring a claim for disability discrimination. However, a court of appeals in Toledo recently found that an employer and employee can agree to shorten the time to bring a case. In Fry v. FCA US, LLC, the employer put an express provision in its hiring materials that limited the time to file suit to 180 days from the event that formed the basis of the claim. When the employee tried to bring a lawsuit after the 180 days but before the standard statute of limitations, the employer moved to dismiss the lawsuit as untimely. The court agreed and dismissed the case.

While there had been suggestions and one federal decision from the 6th Circuit that this type of agreement could be successfully used to limit lawsuits, the Fry decision is the first time a state court in Ohio found this to be legal. The bottom line is that Ohio employers have a real opportunity to reduce employment lawsuits by limiting the time period in which employees can sue. To do this, call your Stark & Knoll attorney today to begin taking immediate steps to protect your Company.

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Phone: 330-376-3300 Fax: 330-376-6237

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