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Columbus, Ohio Ordinance Prohibits Employers from Inquiries into an Applicant’s Salary History

Client Alert

Effective March 1, 2024, Columbus employers are prohibited from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history. Specifically, the ordinance provides that it is an unlawful discriminatory practice to:

  • Inquire about the salary history of an applicant for employment;
  • Screen job applicants based on their current or prior wages, benefits, other compensation, or salary histories (including requiring that an applicant's history satisfy minimum or maximum criteria);
  • Rely solely on the salary history of an applicant in deciding whether to offer employment to an applicant, or in determining the salary, benefits, or other compensation; and
  • Refuse to hire or otherwise disfavor, injure, or retaliate against an applicant for not disclosing salary history.

Additionally, employers may not communicate with an applicant's current or prior employers to obtain an applicant’s salary history. Moreover, employers may not search publicly available records for the purpose of obtaining an applicant’s salary history. However, these prohibitions do not bar employers from discussing an applicant’s expectations regarding salary, benefits, and other compensation.

As defined by the ordinance, an “applicant” is any person applying for employment (whether interviewed or not) to be performed within the City of Columbus and whose application (in whole or in part) will be solicited, received, processed, or considered in the city of Columbus. An “employer” is defined as employing 15 or more persons within Columbus. Job placement and referral agencies are deemed employers when they operate on behalf of an “employer” as defined by the ordinance.

In response to an employer’s violation of the ordinance, an applicant may file a complaint with the Community Relations Commission. Depending on the number of violations, employers could face up to $5,000 in civil fines.

As provided within its text, the ordinance’s purpose is to eliminate hiring practices that “perpetuate issues of systemic discrimination related to the wage gap and wealth gap for women, especially women of color.”

In preparing for March 1, Columbus employers should assess and modify their current hiring practices to comply with the ordinance once it is in effect.

Should you have any questions regarding the ordinance or its implications, please contact BMD Member Daphne Kackloudis at dlkackloudis@bmdllc.com.


The Ohio State University Launches Its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

In response to Ohio’s nursing shortage, The Ohio State University College of Nursing is accepting applications for its new Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (aBSN). Created for students with a bachelor’s degree in non-nursing fields, the aBSN allows such students to obtain their nursing degree within 18 months. All aBSN students will participate in high-quality coursework and gain valuable clinical experience. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be eligible to take the State Board, National Council of Licensure Exam for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN).

Another Transparency Obligation: The FinCEN Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements

Many physician practices and healthcare businesses are facing a new set of federal transparency requirements that require action now. The U.S. Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Requirements (the “Rule”), which was promulgated pursuant to the 2021 bipartisan Corporate Transparency Act, is intended to help curb illegal finance and other impermissible activity in the United States.

“In for a Penny, in for a Pound” is No Longer the Case for Florida Lawyers

On April 1, 2024, newly adopted Rule 1.041 to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedures goes into effect which creates a procedure for an attorney to appear in a limited manner in civil proceedings.  Currently, when a Florida attorney appears in a civil proceeding, he or she is reasonable for handling all aspects of the case for their client.  This new rule authorizes an attorney to file a notice limiting the attorney’s appearance to particular proceedings or specified matters prior to any appearance before the court.  For example, an attorney can now appear for the limited purpose of filing and arguing a motion to dismiss.  Once the motion to dismiss is heard by the court, the attorney may file a notice of termination of limited appearance and will have no further obligations in the case.

Enhancing Privacy Protections for Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized updated rules to 42 CFR Part 2 (“Part 2”) for the protection of Substance Use Disorder (“SUD”) patient records. The updated rules reflect the requirement that the Part 2 rules be more closely aligned with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) privacy, breach notification, and enforcement rules as mandated by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020.

The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board’s Latest Batch of Rules: What Providers Should Know

The Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board has introduced new rules and amendments, covering various aspects such as CDCA certificate requirements, expanded services for LCDCs and CDCAs, remote supervision, and reciprocity application requirements. Notable changes include revised criteria for obtaining a CDCA certification, expanded services for LCDCs and CDCAs, and updated ethical obligations for licensees and certificate holders, including non-discrimination, confidentiality, and anti-sexual harassment measures.