The Honorable D. Andrew Wilson
Ohio Attorney General Opinion
Ohio Attorney General
November 16, 2017
Honorable D. Andrew Wilson
County Prosecuting Attorney
Columbia Street, Suite 449
3709.13 places a general health district employee within the
general civil service framework of R.C. Chapter 124. (1980
Op. Att’y Gen. No. 80-087, approved and followed; 1955
Op. Att’y Gen. No. 5699, p. 434, syllabus paragraph 1,
overruled on the basis of legislative amendment).
general health district employee, other than the health
commissioner, is in the classified civil service absent a
provision in R.C. 124.11(A) that places the employee in the
unclassified civil service.
Pursuant to R.C. 124.11(A)(28), a general health district
employee that performs functions and duties of a deputy or
assistant authorized to act for or in place of the health
commissioner, or that holds a fiduciary relation to the
health commissioner, is in the unclassified civil service.
have requested an opinion addressing the following question:
Are all employees of a general health district, other than
the health commissioner, classified employees under R.C.
3709.13, or are deputies and assistants that are authorized
to act for or in place of the health commissioner, or holding
a fiduciary relationship to the health commissioner,
unclassified employees under R.C. 124.11(A)(28)?
establishing the powers and duties of health districts and
boards of health appear in R.C. Chapters 3707 and 3709. R.C.
3709.01 declares that the state shall be divided into health
districts. Each city constitutes a city health district and
the townships and villages in each county shall be combined
and known as a general health district. Id. The
statute also authorizes the union of a general health
district and one or more city health districts located within
or partially within such general health district. When such a
union is completed, the district is known as a general health
district. Id.; see also R.C. 3709.10 (union
of general health districts and manner of electing of a board
of health for the combined district). You have informed us
that a combined general health district has been formed in
Clark County pursuant to R.C. 3709.07, consisting of the City
of Springfield city health district and the Clark County
general health district.
general health district is served by a board of health, R.C.
3709.02(A), a district advisory council, R.C. 3709.03(A), and
a health district licensing council, R.C. 3709.41(A). The
power to appoint general health district employees is granted
to the board of health by R.C. 3709.13:
In any general health district the board of health may, upon
the recommendation of the health commissioner, appoint for
full or part time service a public health nurse and a clerk
and such additional public health nurses, physicians, and
other persons as are necessary for the proper conduct of its
work. Such number of public health nurses may be employed as
is necessary to provide adequate public health nursing
service to all parts of the district. Employees of the
board, other than the commissioner, shall be in the
classified service of the state, and all employees of
the board may be removed for cause by a majority of the
board. (Emphasis added.)
R.C. 3709.15 also authorizes the board of health of a general
health district to appoint sanitarians and nurses. Under R.C.
3709.16, the board of health of a general health district
“shall determine the duties and fix the salaries of its
employees.” See also Franklin v. Gallia Cnty.
Health Comm’r, No. 99AP-216, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS
1245 (Franklin County March 28, 2000) (finding that R.C.
3709.16 authorized the Gallia County Board of Health to...