Can an Ohio city force its employees to live within the city limits? Right now, that depends on the city.
The 3rd District Court of Appeals recently ruled that towns in its jurisdiction can require employees to live where they work, overturning a 2006 state law that barred towns from imposing residency requirements. The ruling applies to the 17 Ohio counties in western and northern Ohio that fall under the District Court’s jurisdiction.
At least eight cities have challenged the 2006 law, including Toledo, Akron, Youngstown and Lima. City leaders argue that home rule powers guarantee their rights to set residency requirements. Firefighters and police in those cities argue they should be able to live wherever they want. The district court’s ruling said, “Citizens do not have a right to live where they want and demand employment with a particular employer.”
The decision marks the first time that an appeals court has ruled against state law. The state probably will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.