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How is Employment Discrimination Defined in Ohio?

— July 1, 2022

If you are mistreated in any way, you need to let your coworkers or your employer know that you find their conduct offensive. 

Employees in Ohio are protected against discrimination of any kind under various laws, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act in Employment, the Pregancy Discrimination Act or the Family Medical Leave Act. Your employer is or should be aware of these laws. If they choose to ignore the law, tolerate or encourage discrimination, they can be held accountable for their actions. All you need to do is reach out to a skilled Ohio employment lawyer and learn what is the procedure to follow to file a complaint.

How is discrimination defined in Ohio?

If your employer or your coworkers treat you unfairly because you have certain protected characteristics, what they’re doing is illegal. Ohio laws prohibit any form of discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, religion etc. Discrimination comes in many forms and included everything from offensive comments or jokes, to being treated differently on account of your skin color, sex, etc. If you’re routinely assigned the most difficult tasks, are excluded from work training or are paid less than coworkers occupying the same job position, a good lawyer can make it a case of discrimination.

Take, for instance, sexual harassment, which is a form of sex-based discrimination. If your employer demands sexual favors from you in return for a promotion, this is clearly against the law and you should seek advice from a lawyer specializing in sexual harassment cases. 

How to file a discrimination complaint in Ohio?

If you are mistreated in any way, you need to let your coworkers or your employer know that you find their conduct offensive.

Gavel on copy of lawsuit; image by Wirestock, via
Gavel on copy of lawsuit; image by Wirestock, via

The next step is to file an internal complaint. You should talk to the head of the HR department or directly to your employer. According to the Ohio labor laws, your employer must investigate your complaint promptly and inform you of their conclusion. If the guy is in good faith, he will immediately take steps to stop the persecution you were subjected to.

There’s a high chance your boss won’t take any steps to make things right. On the contrary, they might retaliate against you. For instance, you may be demoted or even fired. This is quite unfortunate, but a seasoned Cleveland lawyer will tell you this is actually good news. Such actions will only make your case stronger, as retaliation against people who file a complaint is specifically prohibited in Ohio.

If your employer ignores your problems, you have the right to file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

Keep in mind that you only have 180 days from the date of the last discrimination incident to complain to the EEOC. If you miss the deadline, your complaint might be dismissed so don’t hesitate to hire a lawyer as soon as possible. 

The EEOC will investigate your complaint and attempt a mediation between you and your employer. You can recover damages for the mental suffering, as well as for your lost wages, in case you were fired. 

If negotiations fail, your lawyer will help you prepare a lawsuit against your employers.

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