Employment discrimination occurs if an employee or job applicant is mistreated because of who they are. There are many different types of workplace discrimination, and it helps to familiarize yourself with these types of discrimination so you can spot any violations in your workplace.
Types of employment discrimination across all 50 states
Federal law across the country means that it is illegal to discriminate against any individual employees or job applicants based on their:
- Skin color
- Sex (this also covers pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
- Disability – both physical, mental and learning disabilities
- Age (though this only applies to employees who are 40 or older at a federal level)
- Citizenship status, and
- Genetic information.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing these laws and holding employers accountable.
What Are the Protected Classes Under Ohio Law?
As well as the above, there are some Ohio state laws that further protect employees and job applicants against discrimination. They include:
- Military status, and
- Caring for a parent, child, sibling, or spouse injured while in the armed service.
Sexual orientation and gender identity are also discrimination complaints that are accepted as legitimate in some cities in Ohio. However, not all employers are covered by discrimination laws in the same way. Under federal law, businesses with 15 or more employees are covered by the following:
- Title VII
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act,
Businesses with 20 or more employees are also covered by The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Companies with four or more employees must adhere to the employment discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act. Under the Equal Pay Act, every business, regardless of the number of people it employs, must pay men and women equally for doing equal work.
In Ohio, any business with four or more employees must adhere to the anti-discrimination laws set by the state and is enforced by the Civil Rights Commission. If an employer makes decisions or takes unfavorable action against a person based on their race, gender, or age-related stereotypes, they are breaking the law. The same holds true if they assume a person would be unfit for a job because they have a mental or physical disability.
It is also unlawful for a company to withhold or withdraw employment opportunities because a person has a relationship with someone of a particular race, religion, or ethnicity. Treating a person unfairly or harassing them based on these personal traits is also illegal.
Lastly, an employer is also breaking the law if they attempt to retaliate against a person who has filed a complaint about discrimination or has become involved in a discrimination-related investigation.
Being accused of discrimination is something no employer wants to face and can be a stressful and worrying time for the business. If you believe you or a coworker have been discriminated against, talking to the knowledgeable, professional lawyers at DeWitt Law can help put your mind at ease. If you would like a free, confidential consultation, get in touch today.