Ohio is an at-will employment state. Unless there is an employment contract, an employer can terminate employment at any time and for nearly any reason. However, employers cannot fire you or take any other negative employment action against you for an illegal reason. Specifically, employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their protected status, such as their race, national religion, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and others.
Attorneys Fighting for the Rights of Cincinnati Employees
Cincinnati employees have rights under Ohio and federal law. Unfortunately, some employers regularly violate these rights, causing economic and non-economic harm to their employees or potential employees. The discrimination attorneys at HKM Employment Attorneys know how to hold employers who unlawfully discriminate against employees accountable. If you were your loved one have experienced discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, or retaliation, contact HKM Employment Attorneys today to schedule an initial consultation.
Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle
HKM Employment Attorneys have successfully represented clients with all types of discrimination lawsuits. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing employers in every stage of harassment and discrimination claims. In many cases, our employment attorneys will fight aggressively for our clients using our full array of resources and our trial experience. HKM Employment Attorneys represent clients in a wide range of workplace discrimination claims, including the following types of cases:
- Race discrimination
- Age discrimination
- National origin discrimination
- Sex discrimination
- Sexual orientation discrimination
- Disability discrimination
- Discrimination against whistleblowers
- Religious discrimination
- Wrongful termination
Discrimination Based on Race, Color, or National Origin
Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 Prohibits workplace discrimination based on an employee’s race, ethnicity, color, or national origin. Employers cannot make decisions with adverse effects on employees based on their cultural background, skin color, or lineage. For example, an employer cannot promote individuals and offer them benefits while denying other individuals those benefits because of their skin color, race, or national origin.
Some cases of race-based discrimination are obvious, such as an employer who refuses to hire an applicant because of their color. In other cases, the discrimination is more subtle. If you think you have been discriminated against based on your race or national origin, it is crucial to talk to an attorney.
Unlawful Discrimination Based on Disabilities
Employees with mental or physical disabilities have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits employers from denying work-related opportunities or benefits because of their disabilities. The law also prohibits employers from refusing to make reasonable accommodations for their employees. For example, if an employee has a vision impairment, the employer may be required to make a reasonable accommodation by providing them with a specialized computer screen. Employers do not have to make reasonable accommodations if it will put an undue burden on their business.
Cincinnati Sexual Harassment Attorneys
Sexual harassment is one of the most common discriminatory practices in the Ohio workplace. Every employee has the right to look for a job and work without being subjected to sexual harassment. There are two main categories of unlawful sexual harassment: quid pro quo sexual harassment and a hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo sexual harassment occurs when a manager or employer threatens to take adverse action against an employee if they do not accept the manager’s or employer’s sexual advances. Conversely, quid pro quo sexual harassment can happen when a manager or owner offers to take a favorable employment action in exchange for sexual favors.
Employers cannot allow a hostile work environment to occur. Suppose you have been exposed to sexual messages, offensive remarks, sexual advances, or any other behavior that makes it difficult for a reasonable person to continue working. You may have a valid claim for a hostile work environment in that case.
Ohio’s Anti-Discrimination Laws
The Ohio Fair Practices Act Provides additional protections to Ohio workers. Federal anti-discrimination laws may not protect employees because they do not apply to businesses with fewer than 15 employees. Ohio’s anti-discrimination law protects employees working for companies with four or more employees. Ohio employees have a right to file a discrimination claim through the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Claimants can recover several different types of benefits, including front pay, back pay, and punitive damages, and they may be entitled to restitution.
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers From discriminating against employees 40 and older based on their age. For example, an employer may lay off employees in their 50s and 60s and replace them with younger employees who will work for less compensation. Doing so would be a violation of age-based discrimination laws. Employers can’t deny opportunities or benefits to older employees.
Discrimination Based on Sex, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sex-based discrimination. The United States Supreme Court has also held that this law protects workers from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Additionally, the Equal Pay Act guarantees women equal compensation with men who are similarly employed.
Discrimination Related to Pregnancy and Parental Status
Pregnant women are protected from discrimination in the workplace by the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This law prohibits employers from making adverse employment decisions against women because they are pregnant or have the ability to become pregnant. Employers cannot prefer men over women based on the perception that men work harder or that women will take maternity leave and quit their jobs. Additionally, employers need to make reasonable accommodations for employees who need to breastfeed.
Discuss Your Case with a Cincinnati Workplace Discrimination Attorney
At HKM Employment Attorneys, we have extensive experience representing clients in discrimination cases. Our trial-ready attorneys regularly represent clients before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, OSHA, and state and federal civil courts. If you have been discriminated against as an employee or potential employee, reach out to a skilled attorney. There are strict filing deadlines for employment discrimination cases, and the sooner you reach out to an attorney, the better. Contact HKM Employment Attorneys to schedule an initial consultation and learn more about how we can advocate for you and your rights.