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Public Sector Labor Relations: Ohio

Public Sector Labor Relations requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Author: Jennifer L. Isaacs, Frantz Ward LLP


  • Most public employees can be organized and therefore are eligible for union membership, with exceptions provided for confidential employees, managerial employees, supervisors, and more. See Public Sector Employees.
  • The State Employment Relations Board has jurisdiction over the adjudication of unfair labor practices, collective bargaining disputes, mediation, and arbitration. See The State Employment Relations Board.
  • Though most issues related to wages, hours, and other terms of employment may be bargained upon by the parties, there are some areas which are specifically reserved for the employer. See Collective Bargaining Process.
  • Unionized public employees and their employers must engage in mediation and fact-finding arbitration if the parties are unable to resolve collective bargaining disputes. See Dispute Resolution.
  • Where fact-finding arbitration fails, most public employees may strike. Those employees who may not strike must participate in final and binding arbitration. See Dispute Resolution.
  • Though most employees may strike, that right is not without limitation: an Ohio court may enjoin the employees from striking where a danger to the public safety exists or where the strike is illegal. There are penalties for public employees who strike unlawfully. See Right to Strike.