The General Assembly created an ombudsperson system in 1977. As a neutral and independent resource in the workers’ compensation system, the ombudsperson assists claimants and employers in their dealings with the Bureau of Workers’ compensation and the Industrial Commission.
Pursuant to R.C. § 4121.45(A), the Industrial Commission Nominating Council now appoints a chief ombudsperson. Acting on the advice and with consent of the Council, the chief ombudsperson may appoint any assistant ombudsperson as the Council deems necessary.
The chief ombudsperson and these assistants serve a term of six years, with a salary established by the Nominating Council based upon the individual’s background, education, and experience in workers’ compensation or related fields. The ombudsperson office works full-time, and may be removed by the nominating council solely on grounds of misfeasance, neglect of duty, and only after receiving due notice and a public hearing.