921.25 Civil penalties.

(A)

(1) Whenever the director of agriculture has cause to believe that any person has violated, or is violating, this chapter or any rule or order adopted or issued under it, the director may conduct a hearing in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code to determine whether a violation has occurred. Except as otherwise provided in division (A)(3) of this section, the director shall assess a civil penalty against any person who violates this chapter or any rule or order adopted or issued under it in accordance with the schedule of civil penalties established in rules adopted under division (B) of section 921.16 of the Revised Code. Each day a violation continues constitutes a separate and distinct violation.

(2) In addition to assessing a civil penalty under division (A)(1) of this section, the director may deny, modify, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew a license, permit, or registration issued under this chapter.

(3) The civil penalty authorized under division (A)(1) of this section may be assessed against the employer of a person who violates this chapter or any rule adopted or order issued under it rather than against the person.

Divisions (A)(1), (2), and (3) of this section do not affect, and shall not be construed as affecting, any other civil or criminal liability of the employee or the employer that may arise in consequence of the employer's or the employee's violation of this chapter or any other law.

(4) If the person or employer does not pay a civil penalty within a reasonable time after its assessment, the attorney general, upon the request of the director, shall bring a civil action to recover the amount of the penalty.

(B)

(1) In lieu of conducting a hearing under division (A) of this section, the director may refer the violation to the attorney general who, except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, may bring a civil action against any person who violates this chapter or any rule or order adopted or issued under it. If the court determines that a violation has occurred, the court shall order the person to pay a civil penalty for each violation, not to exceed five thousand dollars for a first violation and not to exceed ten thousand dollars for each subsequent violation. Each day a violation continues constitutes a separate and distinct violation.

(2) The civil action authorized under division (B)(1) of this section may be brought against the employer of a person who violates this chapter or any rule adopted or order issued under it rather than against the person.

Divisions (B) (1) and (2) of this section do not affect, and shall not be construed as affecting, any other civil or criminal liability of the employee or the employer that may arise in consequence of the employer's or employee's violation of this chapter or any other law.

(C) In addition to the remedies provided and irrespective of whether or not there exists an adequate remedy at law, the director may apply to the court of common pleas for a temporary or permanent injunction or other appropriate relief against continued violation of this chapter.

(D) The remedies available to the director and to the attorney general under this chapter are cumulative and concurrent, and the exercise of one remedy by either the director or the attorney general, or by both, does not preclude or require the exercise of any other remedy by the director, the attorney general, or a prosecutor as defined in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code, except that no person shall pay both a civil penalty under division (A) of this section and a civil penalty under division (B) of this section for the same violation.

(E) If a person violates this chapter or rules adopted under it, both of the following apply:

(1) The person is liable for the violation.

(2) The employer of the person is liable for and may be convicted of the violation if the person was acting on behalf of the employer and was acting within the scope of the person's employment.

Effective Date: 07-01-2004