New Year, New Laws: Changes to Ohio Laws Applicable from January 01, 2021

Last year, a few important changes were made to the laws in Ohio. These changes are all set to become effective from January 01, 2021. In this article, we look at some of the important changes that will have a significant impact on the lives of people in Ohio.

Hike in Minimum Wages

Beginning from January 01, 2021, Ohio’s minimum wages will increase for both tipped and non-tipped employees. For non-tipped employees, the minimum wages will increase by 10 cents from $8.70 per hour to $8.80 per hour. For tipped employees, the minimum wages will increase by 5 cents from $4.35 per hour to $4.40 per hour. These minimum wages will apply to businesses with gross annual receipts of more than $323,000 per year. Employers who gross less than $323,000 per year are required to adhere to the federal minimum wage rate which currently stands at $7.25 per hour. The minimum wage for 14-15 year old also stands at $7.25 per hour.

The minimum wages in Ohio are adjusted for inflation on January 01 each year.

CCP Application to the Sheriff’s Office

Beginning from this New Year, Ohioans will be able to apply for and renew their Concealed Carry Permit (CCP) at any Sheriff’s Office in the state. Previously, new applications or renewal requests could only be made from the county they resided in or an adjacent county. The new law, which is linked to the coronavirus pandemic, will make it easier and faster for residents of Ohio to apply for a gun license. The new law has also extended the expiry date by 90 days, or until June 30, 2021 (whichever is later) for current licenses set to expire between March 09, 2020 and June 30, 2021.

Schools Not Required to Adjust Minimum Reading Test Scores

Keeping the mind the effects of the pandemic, Ohio schools will not be required to adjust minimum reading test scores for third-graders to move into the fourth grade. This was done to deal with the fact that children had to study and learn from home owing to the pandemic, which could lead to mixed results. For high school students, final course grades could be used in lieu of the end-of-year exams, if the exams were cancelled. This will allow the students to graduate even if their tests were cancelled.

Apart from these major changes, a new law by the animal department allows law enforcement authorities to seize and impound any animal believed to be a subject of animal cruelty. The law is not limited to only companion animals but covers all animals.

More recently, the Senate Bill 175, signed into law by Governor Mike DeWine expanded the definition of what is traditionally referred to as ‘Stand Your Ground’ law. Under the new law, a gun owner will no longer be required to prove that he or she considered the possibility of retreat before using the gun, if they ‘reasonably believed that force was necessary to prevent injury, loss or risk to life or safety.” The new law applies to ‘a place in which the person lawfully has a right to be’, removing the requirement that a person should be in his or her home or vehicle to stand their ground.

The new ‘Stand Your Ground’ law can be accessed here: