This website contains general information regarding the State Personnel Board of Review. It is not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.

What Can Be Appealed?

SPBR generally has jurisdiction over the following types of appeals:

Disciplinary Appeals
Removal
Suspension
Reduction in Pay or Position
Fine

Non-Disciplinary Appeals
Reclassification
Layoff
Abolishment
Non-Disciplinary Reduction
Involuntary Disability Separation
Transfer
Resignation

Investigatory Appeals
Whistleblower
OSHA
Abuse of Power


Disciplinary Appeals

SPBR hears appeals, pursuant to R.C. 124.34, from removals, suspensions, fines and reductions in pay or position for disciplinary reasons. Any classified employee of a state or county agency, state university, or general health district who has been removed, suspended for more than three days, fined, or reduced in pay or position for a disciplinary reason has a right to file an appeal with the Board. A written appeal from a R.C. 124.34 Order must be filed with the Board within ten calendar days after the Order is received by the employee; if there is no R.C. 124.34 Order, a written appeal must be filed with SPBR within thirty (30) calendar days after the employee receives actual notice of the action.

At a hearing, the employer must prove particular acts and/or omissions which form the basis of the discipline. After hearing all of the evidence, the Board will determine whether that evidence supports a finding that the employee has violated one of the statutory grounds for discipline and, if so, whether the amount of discipline imposed was appropriate under the total circumstances. In making the latter decision, the Board can consider a number of factors, including the progressive discipline record of the employee, any mitigating circumstances, and any disparity in the treatment received by the employee compared to similarly situated employees.

Non-Disciplinary Appeals

SPBR has jurisdiction to hear several types of non-disciplinary appeals, including matters relating to reclassifications, layoffs, displacements and job abolishments, non-disciplinary reductions, involuntary disability separations and denials of reinstatements, transfers, and resignations. A classified employee of a state or county agency, state university, or general health district may appeal the results of a position audit to the Board. A written appeal of job audit results must be filed with the Board within thirty (30) calendar days after receiving the notice of the results of the audit. A copy of the audit decision letter should be attached to the appeal. The Board will determine the most appropriate classification for the employee’s position.

Employees may be laid off or displaced due to a temporary lack of funds or work within an agency. A position may be abolished when an appointing authority feels there is no longer any need for the position. If the abolished position is occupied, the incumbent employee may be displaced or laid off. Layoffs, whether or not they result from job abolishments, and displacements resulting of abolishments or layoffs are appealable to SPBR. At a hearing, the employer must show that it complied with the applicable statutory requirements in carrying out the abolishment, displacement or layoff. A written appeal of a layoff, abolishment, or displacement must be filed or postmarked within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the notice of the action. A copy of the notice of layoff, abolishment, or displacement should be attached to the appeal.

SPBR may hear an appeal from alleged reductions in position for reasons other than discipline. Because a classified employee may only be reduced for disciplinary reasons, the Board will order an employer to cease any illegal reductions. A written appeal of an alleged reduction which does not involve a R.C. 124.34 Order must be filed with the board within ninety (90) days after receipt of notice of the reduction or, if no notice is given, within ninety (90) days of the actual imposition of the reduction. The appeal time may be extended within the discretion of the Board.

When an appeal from an involuntary disability separation is filed, the Board will determine whether the employer has complied with necessary procedural requirements and whether the evidence establishes that the employee is incapable of performing his or her essential job duties. The employee may dispute the employer's evidence through witness testimony, the employee's own medical or psychological evidence, or both. A similar procedure is used in an appeal of an appointing authority's refusal to reinstate an employee wishing to return from a separation, although in a reinstatement appeal, the employee must demonstrate that he or she is once again capable of performing his or her essential job duties. A written appeal from an involuntary disability separation or refusal to reinstate must be filed with the Board within ten calendar days after the R.C. 124.34 Order separating the employee or refusing to reinstate the employee is filed with the Board by the employer.

Transfers to another county for more than thirty days or from one appointing authority to another are appealable. There are a number of statutory requirements which must be met before an employee may be transferred, and the Board may review the transfer to make sure that the employer has complied with them. A written appeal of a transfer must be filed with the Board within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the notice of transfer from the Director of the Department of Administrative Services. A copy of the notice of transfer should be attached to the appeal.

Investigatory Appeals

SPBR has jurisdiction to hear appeals from retaliatory actions taken against classified or unclassified employees of state and county agencies, state universities, general health districts, cities, city health districts, or city school districts, as a result of the employee's proper "whistleblower" report of violations of state or federal statutes, rules, or regulations, or the misuse of public resources under R.C. 124.341. When an employee files a whistleblower appeal, the Board will determine whether a causal relationship exists between the employee's activities and the employer's actions. If retaliatory action has been taken, the Board may impose a remedy up to and including reinstatement or any other appropriate order.

The Board may hear appeals from any employed or contracted individual in any non-federal governmental setting in Ohio who alleges a retaliatory action has been taken against him or her for properly reporting an OSHA violation. When such an appeal is filed, the Board follows a procedure similar in nature to that used in a whistleblower appeal. The appeal right provided by R.C. Chapter 4167. does not prevent an individual from filing, in the alternative, a disciplinary action under R.C. 124.34, where applicable.

Employees of state, state university, and county appointing authorities, and also of general health districts not under municipal control may file a request for an investigation of an alleged abuse of power by an appointing authority in the appointment, layoff, reduction, suspension, or removal of an employee. The Board may certify to the Governor a finding that an individual has violated R.C. Chapter 124. and recommend the removal of that individual.

Employees of non-home rule municipalities and, where a statewide concern is at issue, home rule municipalities may file a request for investigation of allegations that a municipal civil service commission has abused its authority in committing a violation of the civil service laws. Investigation requests must be filed with the Board within six months of knowledge of the alleged violations of R.C. Chapter 124. The time period may be extended within the Board's discretion where the violation is ongoing or there is a pattern of violation over an extended period of time.

When a request for investigation is received, SPBR conducts its initial investigation through an exchange of correspondence between the parties, after which the Board will determine the appropriate course of action.

Other miscellaneous actions may be appealed to SPBR; the Board reviews each case individually to determine whether it has jurisdiction over the alleged violation.