Courts with Jurisdiction Over Employment Law Matters
Typical employment claims brought in state court can include breach of contract, wrongful termination, whistleblower retaliation, negligent hiring, O.R.C. Chapter 4111 (wage and hour claims) and Chapter 4112 (discrimination and retaliation claims), as well as unemployment and workers compensation appeals.
Common Pleas Courts
The 88 common pleas courts in Ohio have original jurisdiction over most civil claims, including employment claims, in which the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000. Common pleas courts also hear appeals from the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission, regarding unemployment eligibility, and the Ohio Industrial Commission, regarding workers compensation eligibility. See R.C. §§ 4141.282 and 4123.512, respectively.
State Court Appeals
Like most other civil cases, appeals in employment-related cases are heard by one of the state’s 12 district courts of appeals. The Ohio Supreme Court is also the court of last resort for employment-related claims. Review of an appellate decision is limited to cases involving a “substantial constitutional question,” those which involve an issue of “public or great general interest” and those with conflicting district court opinions. Ohio S.Ct. R. II.
Typical employment claims brought in federal court may include those under Title VII (discrimination, retaliation and hostile work environment claims), the Fair Labor Standards Act (wage and hour claims), the Americans with Disabilities Act (failure to accommodate employees with disabilities), the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
Federal Question Jurisdiction
Federal question jurisdiction provides federal court jurisdiction where the plaintiff has alleged a violation of the U.S. Constitution, federal law, or a treaty to which the United States is a party. 28 U.S.C. §1331.
Diversity jurisdiction provides federal court jurisdiction where the parties are from different states and the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000. 28 U.S.C. §1332.
Note: A corporation is treated as a citizen of the state in which it is incorporated and where its principal place of business is located. 28 U.S.C. §1332(c)(1). The phrase “principal place of business” refers to the place where a corporation’s high level officers direct, control, and coordinate the corporation’s activities, i.e., its “nerve center,” which will typically be found at its corporate headquarters. Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 130 S.Ct. 1181 (2010).