Ohio Civil Rights laws & HR compliance analysis

Ohio Civil Rights: What you need to know

The Ohio Civil Rights Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry (OH Rev. Code Sec. 4112.01 et seq.). The Act covers all public employers and private employers with four or more employees.
"Military status" defined. "Military status" includes service in the armed forces and the Ohio militia, and applies to active duty, training, full-time National Guard duty, and the time needed for an examination to determine the fitness of a person to perform any covered duty.
Retaliation. State law prohibits retaliation against anyone who opposes an unlawful discriminatory practice or who has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the Act.
The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a former employee could proceed with his lawsuit charging retaliation because he was fired immediately after his supervisor learned that he had filed a discrimination charge against the employer (Mickey v. Zeidler Tool and Die Co., 516 F.3d 516 (6th Cir. 2008)). In this case, the supervisor learned of the discrimination charge and immediately walked into the employee's office and terminated his employment, citing a downturn in business, the employee's performance, and a lack of available work. The court ruled that "where an adverse employment action occurs very close in time after an employer learns of a protected activity, such temporal proximity between the events is significant enough to constitute evidence of a causal connection." Because the events occurred so close in time, the ...

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