4112.04 Commission - powers and duties.

(A) The commission shall do all of the following:

(1) Establish and maintain a principal office in the city of Columbus and any other offices within the state that it considers necessary;

(2) Appoint an executive director who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission and be its principal administrative officer. The executive director shall be paid a salary fixed pursuant to Chapter 124. of the Revised Code.

(3) Appoint hearing examiners and other employees and agents who it considers necessary and prescribe their duties subject to Chapter 124. of the Revised Code;

(4) Adopt, promulgate, amend, and rescind rules to effectuate the provisions of this chapter and the policies and practice of the commission in connection with this chapter;

(5) Formulate policies to effectuate the purposes of this chapter and make recommendations to agencies and officers of the state or political subdivisions to effectuate the policies;

(6) Receive, investigate, and pass upon written charges made under oath of unlawful discriminatory practices;

(7) Make periodic surveys of the existence and effect of discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, military status, familial status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry on the enjoyment of civil rights by persons within the state;

(8) Report, from time to time, but not less than once a year, to the general assembly and the governor, describing in detail the investigations, proceedings, and hearings it has conducted and their outcome, the decisions it has rendered, and the other work performed by it, which report shall include a copy of any surveys prepared pursuant to division (A)(7) of this section and shall include the recommendations of the commission as to legislative or other remedial action;

(9) Prepare a comprehensive educational program, in cooperation with the department of education, for the students of the public schools of this state and for all other residents of this state that is designed to eliminate prejudice on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, military status, familial status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry in this state, to further good will among those groups, and to emphasize the origin of prejudice against those groups, its harmful effects, and its incompatibility with American principles of equality and fair play;

(10) Receive progress reports from agencies, instrumentalities, institutions, boards, commissions, and other entities of this state or any of its political subdivisions and their agencies, instrumentalities, institutions, boards, commissions, and other entities regarding affirmative action programs for the employment of persons against whom discrimination is prohibited by this chapter, or regarding any affirmative housing accommodations programs developed to eliminate or reduce an imbalance of race, color, religion, sex, military status, familial status, national origin, disability, or ancestry. All agencies, instrumentalities, institutions, boards, commissions, and other entities of this state or its political subdivisions, and all political subdivisions, that have undertaken affirmative action programs pursuant to a conciliation agreement with the commission, an executive order of the governor, any federal statute or rule, or an executive order of the president of the United States shall file progress reports with the commission annually on or before the first day of November. The commission shall analyze and evaluate the progress reports and report its findings annually to the general assembly on or before the thirtieth day of January of the year immediately following the receipt of the reports.

(B) The commission may do any of the following:

(1) Meet and function at any place within the state;

(2) Initiate and undertake on its own motion investigations of problems of employment or housing accommodations discrimination;

(3) Hold hearings, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, administer oaths, take the testimony of any person under oath, require the production for examination of any books and papers relating to any matter under investigation or in question before the commission, and make rules as to the issuance of subpoenas by individual commissioners.

(a) In conducting a hearing or investigation, the commission shall have access at all reasonable times to premises, records, documents, individuals, and other evidence or possible sources of evidence and may examine, record, and copy the premises, records, documents, and other evidence or possible sources of evidence and take and record the testimony or statements of the individuals as reasonably necessary for the furtherance of the hearing or investigation. In investigations, the commission shall comply with the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution relating to unreasonable searches and seizures. The commission or a member of the commission may issue subpoenas to compel access to or the production of premises, records, documents, and other evidence or possible sources of evidence or the appearance of individuals, and may issue interrogatories to a respondent, to the same extent and subject to the same limitations as would apply if the subpoenas or interrogatories were issued or served in aid of a civil action in a court of common pleas.

(b) Upon written application by a party to a hearing under division (B) of section 4112.05 of the Revised Code, the commission shall issue subpoenas in its name to the same extent and subject to the same limitations as subpoenas issued by the commission. Subpoenas issued at the request of a party shall show on their face the name and address of the party and shall state that they were issued at the party's request.

(c) Witnesses summoned by subpoena of the commission are entitled to the witness and mileage fees provided for under section 119.094 of the Revised Code.

(d) Within five days after service of a subpoena upon any person, the person may petition the commission to revoke or modify the subpoena. The commission shall grant the petition if it finds that the subpoena requires an appearance or attendance at an unreasonable time or place, that it requires production of evidence that does not relate to any matter before the commission, that it does not describe with sufficient particularity the evidence to be produced, that compliance would be unduly onerous, or for other good reason.

(e) In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena, the commission or person at whose request it was issued may petition for its enforcement in the court of common pleas in the county in which the person to whom the subpoena was addressed resides, was served, or transacts business.

(4) Create local or statewide advisory agencies and conciliation councils to aid in effectuating the purposes of this chapter. The commission may itself, or it may empower these agencies and councils to, do either or both of the following:

(a) Study the problems of discrimination in all or specific fields of human relationships when based on race, color, religion, sex, military status, familial status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry;

(b) Foster through community effort, or otherwise, good will among the groups and elements of the population of the state.

The agencies and councils may make recommendations to the commission for the development of policies and procedures in general. They shall be composed of representative citizens who shall serve without pay, except that reimbursement for actual and necessary traveling expenses shall be made to citizens who serve on a statewide agency or council.

(5) Issue any publications and the results of investigations and research that in its judgment will tend to promote good will and minimize or eliminate discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, military status, familial status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 03-17-2000; 2007 HB372 03-24-2008; 2008 HB525 07-01-2009

Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §4