Have You Been Discriminated Against At Work?
Under both Ohio and federal law, most employees are protected in some manner from employment discrimination. Unfortunately, while discrimination is illegal, it is still common in many workplaces. If you have been discriminated against at work because of your gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, age, disability or another factor, you have the right to be angry. You also have the right to take action.
At Mowery Youell & Galeano, Ltd. in Dublin, our attorneys have a reputation for standing up for Ohio workers that stretches back more than 30 years. We are well-versed in all of the laws that protect employees from discrimination, including Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and section 4112.02 of the Ohio Revised Code. These laws protect workers in all stages of employment, from hiring to promotions to termination and every part of work life in between. These laws also provide opportunities for relief for employees who have experienced discrimination.
We encourage you to contact our lawyers immediately to review your situation and determine your next steps for filing a discrimination claim. Call 614-467-4923 for a consultation.
What Qualifies As Workplace Discrimination?
Workplace discrimination comes in many forms, from verbal harassment to wrongful termination. It can be denying promotions or an unfair division of the workload, among other situations. Discrimination at work may be based on:
What Protections Do Employees Have Under Federal Law?
Federal law offers protections for workers nationwide, including those from Ohio. Employees are protected from discrimination by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, gender, disability, age (over 40), religion and national origin. Title VII is found at 42 U.S.C. 2000e of the United States Code. Title VII states at 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a)(1) and (2), “It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer (1) to fail or refuse to hire or discharge an individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
Almost all employee actions are covered under Title VII, including hiring, promotions, discharge, pay and fringe benefits. Title VII also applies to applicants for employment.
Title VII can be enforced against employers with 15 or more employees.
The protection of Title VII has been extended through the enactment of separate provisions prohibiting discrimination. These include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA).
What Protections Do Employees Have Under Ohio Law?
Ohio workers are also protected under state law, which complements federal protections. Employees are protected from discrimination by 4112.02 of the Ohio Revised Code.
Like Title VII, 4112.02(A) makes it unlawful “for any employer, because of the race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, age, or ancestry of any person, to discharge without just cause, to refuse to hire, or otherwise to discriminate against that person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment.”
Further similarities to Title VII include:
- 4112.02 usually protects most employee actions, including hiring, promotions, discharge, pay and fringe benefits.
- Likewise, 4112.02 provides protection to applicants for employment.
- However, unlike Title VII, 4112.02 can be enforced against employers with four or more employees.
What Is The Possible Relief For An Employee Who Feels They Have Been Discriminated Against?
Under federal law and Ohio Revised Code 4112.02, an individual who feels they have been discriminated against can file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC).
Filing claims with the EEOC and OCRC is free. However, remedies are limited and the process is long. In most instances, it will take six to nine months for the commission to issue a determination in deciding if a full hearing is necessary. The commission determines a full hearing is necessary when it issues a probable cause finding. In cases when a full hearing is imminent, the Ohio Attorney General’s office represents the OCRC against the employer to eliminate the discriminatory practice. A full hearing is a long process, sometimes lasting as long as a year and a half.
However, an individual almost always has the right to file a claim in federal or state court depending on the statute being used. Thus, having a claim rejected by the OCRC/EEOC does not preclude an individual from bringing a private suit in federal or state court.
The EEOC and OCRC do not provide legal counsel if you decide to file a complaint. You must retain legal counsel on your own. We have the experience to help you file a private discrimination lawsuit seeking compensation in federal or state court.
Contact A Trusted Anti-Discrimination Attorney To Learn More
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