Americans with Disabilities (ADA)
The OPD is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. To request reasonable accommodation, contact Tamra Meister, ADA Coordinator, at 250 East Broad Street, Suite 1400, Columbus, OH 43215, (614) 466-5394.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)
The Office of the Ohio Public Defender (OPD) is committed to compliance with federal and state laws and Gubernatorial Executive Orders prohibiting discrimination, discriminatory harassment, and retaliation. Where discrimination is suspected, employees or applicants are encouraged to use OPD’s discrimination complaint procedure.
Employment decisions in state government will be made on the basis of merit, fitness, and equality of opportunity, and without unlawful discrimination on the basis of:
- Gender identity or expression;
- National origin (ancestry);
- Military status;
- Age (40 years of age or older);
- Genetic information;
- Sexual orientation;
- Status as parent during pregnancy and immediately after the birth of a child;
- Status as a parent of a young child; or
- Status as a foster parent.
It is important to note here a distinction between the Discrimination Complaint Procedure and the grievance procedure(s) otherwise available to OPD employees. If any employee has a problem on the job that does not involve the types of illegal workplace discrimination described above, that employee should contact his or her supervisor or the Human Resources Administrator to pursue normal grievance procedures. If the employee is represented by a union, he or she should pursue the grievance remedies available under the relevant collective bargaining agreement.
Equal Employment Opportunity Discrimination Complaint Procedure
Any employee or applicant who believes he or she has been subject to discrimination should, where feasible, advise the offending individual that the action is not welcomed and must stop. For complaints of illegal workplace discrimination that arise under state and federal EEO and related laws, the following Volunteer Internal complaint procedures should be employed:
- The employee or any applicant asserting discrimination should first contact Cherish Berry, EEO Officer, at 250 East Broad Street, Suite 1400, Columbus, OH 43215, (614) 466-5394. A complaint also can be filed with the State EEO Division, 4200 Surface Road, Columbus, OH 43228; however, that office will refer the complaint back to the agency’s EEO Officer for investigation.
- OPD’s EEO Officer will conduct a confidential and thorough investigation of all complaint allegations and will make a recommendation to the Director in as timely a manner as the circumstances permit, but normally within 60 days of receiving the complaint. Complainants and witnesses will be free from any reprisal or retaliation throughout the process.
- OPD’s EEO Officer will attempt, in appropriate circumstances, to devise an appropriate solution to the complaint, and may direct the complainant to other agencies if the problem cannot be resolved Volunteer Internally.
- The complainant remains free to pursue other external remedies available under state or federal law while the Volunteer Internal investigation is pursued, and the complainant bears full responsibility for meeting any external deadlines required by external processes, including but not limited to EEOC, Ohio Civil Rights Commission, and/or court or other agency filings.
Note for OPD Employees: If any employee has a problem on the job that does not involve the types of illegal workplace discrimination described above, that employee should contact their supervisor or the Human Resources Administrator to pursue normal grievance procedures. If the employee is represented by a union, he or she should pursue the grievance remedies available under the relevant collective bargaining agreement.