Public employees have a right to a safe and healthful workplace free from recognized hazards. Employees may refuse unsafe job assignments with a risk of death or serious physical harm (imminent danger).
Click here to download a PERRP complaint form.
To file a complaint or report an imminent danger condition, call 1-800-671-6858.
Who can file a safety and health complaint?
A current public employee (i.e., persons employed by state agencies, counties, cities, townships, villages, school districts, state universities and special districts) or employee representative (e.g., union official). Peace officers employed by public employers do not fall under PERRP jurisdiction.
NOTE: PERRP does not have jurisdiction to process complaints from: former public employees; family members of a public employee, or; members of the general public.
What is a formal complaint?
Under Ohio law, public employees who believe that a hazardous condition exists in their workplace that threatens physical harm, or creates an imminent danger, may file a complaint with PERRP requesting an inspection. Filing a complaint is confidential and your name will not be revealed to your employer.
If you think your job is unsafe and you want to discuss your concerns, contact us at 1-800-671-6858.
You can also send us an email. Please include your name and contact information in your correspondence so that we can call you back and discuss your concerns. Click here to start the conversation!
When will my complaint be sent to my employer?
Within five business days of the receipt of the complaint, PERRP will send a letter of notification to the public employer by certified mail, which outlines the allegations. This notification letter will not include the name(s) of the complainant(s).
How long does my employer have to respond to my complaint and what does the employer have to do?
The public employer must investigate, correct and respond to the allegations within 30 days. If the employer does not respond, or if PERRP determines the response is inadequate, an inspection of the workplace will result.
Two outcomes can result from a complaint inspection:
- PERRP determines there are no reasonable grounds to believe that a violation or danger exists. If this occurs the complainant will be notified of the outcome.
- PERRP identifies violations and issues citations to the employer that require corrective action. If the employer fails to correct identified hazards within the allotted time, they may face fines.
What are the conditions to file a refusal to work?
If you believe your employer is asking you to perform work that presents an imminent danger of death or serious physical harm, you have a right to refuse those job assignments.
Examples of potential imminent danger conditions include: working in a trench or excavation without adequate protection; entering and performing work in a confined space without proper equipment and training; working in a roadway right-of-way without high visibility work apparel or advance warning signs.
How do I file a refusal to work?
You must notify your immediate supervisor that the assigned work task has a risk of death or serious physical harm. If the employer refuses to correct the hazardous conditions, you must notify PERRP by calling 1-800-671-6858. You will be required to submit a written statement that describes the imminent danger conditions to PERRP.
Am I protected from discrimination or retaliation?
Yes. Employees are protected from discrimination or retaliation for exercising their rights under the Act. Employees who feel they have been discriminated for exercising their rights can file an appeal with the State Personnel Board of Review.