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What Kinds of Workplace Discrimination Are Actionable

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2021 | Firm News

If you have been struggling with coworkers or the way you’re being treated by your employer, you may be starting to think about making a complaint or filing a discrimination claim. It’s important to note that there are only some types of claims that are actionable as discrimination claims.

In Ohio, there are anti-discrimination laws that protect you. There are also federal laws that may apply to protect you against discrimination as well.

What Kinds of Discrimination Are Against Ohio Law?

The state has made it illegal for any employer to discriminate based on a person’s:

  • Age (40 and older)
  • Military status
  • Veteran’s status
  • Handicap
  • National origin
  • Ancestry
  • Sex
  • Religion
  • Race
  • Color
  • Sexual orientation

The law also allows any worker who wins an age discrimination case to seek compensation for their emotional pain and suffering as well as extra compensation intended to punish the employer. These two kinds of compensation are called compensatory and punitive damages. Some of these awards are not permitted under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, so workers with this type of case are in a special position to seek further compensation within the state based on state law.

What Should You Do if You Want to File a Discrimination Claim in Ohio?

If you want to file a claim, you need to reach out to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission. The two agencies work together, and they cooperate with each other while processing claims. You don’t need to file a claim with both agencies as long as you let the agency you do file with know that you want them to cross-file your case.

Why Does Ohio Have Its Own Discrimination Laws?

Ohio has its own discrimination laws because federal laws don’t cover all employers. The anti-discrimination laws in the state cover smaller employers, so if a workplace has four to 14 employees, then Ohio’s laws will come into play. The EEOC only enforces federal laws, which apply to businesses that have at least 15 employees. This is something you can discuss with your attorney if you’re not sure where to begin.