Is It Legal to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Workers in Ohio
No. The Supreme Court recently ruled that LGBTQ workers are protected against employment discrimination by federal and state law.
Pursuant to Title VII and R.C. 4112, private companies, temp agencies, public sector organizations, and labor unions cannot refuse to interview, hire, or promote individuals just because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Employers are also prohibited from mistreating or allowing the mistreatment of LGBT workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. When LGBT employees report discrimination or retaliation, their employer cannot legally fire them for doing so.
A Recent Endorsement of Employment Protections for LGBT Workers
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination against workers on the basis of sex. Specifically, the law states
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer
- to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or
- to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Section 4112.02 of the Ohio Revised Code echoes this statutory language. For decades, however, employers relied on the absence of terms such as “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” “lesbian,” and “gay” to argue in court that Title VII and similar state statutes did not protect LGBT individuals. For quite some time, courts in Ohio and across the nation found that Title VII’s protections did not apply to lesbian, gay and transgendered individuals. This recently changed in 2020, when the Supreme Court of the United States decided a group of cases that stand for the premise that Title VII does protect these individuals from discrimination in the employment context.
Most courts sided with employers, though a few workers who sued on the grounds of illegal discrimination based on gender stereotyping won notable victories prior to the Supreme Court’s recent decisions.
The legal landscape changed on June 15, 2020, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in case titled Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia that “it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”
The determination that the Title VII prohibition of sex discrimination also prohibits discrimination against LGBT individuals makes it possible for all people in Ohio to try to hold an employer accountable for sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination. Such cases may be tough to win, but courts can no longer dismiss claims brought under Title VII because the federal law lacks certain terms that were not commonly used more than 50 years ago. The attorneys at The Friedmann Firm are committed to fighting for individuals who have been discriminated against based on being gay, lesbian and transgendered and individuals who have been discriminated against because they do not conform with gender stereotypes or gender norms.
At The Friedmann Firm, our employee rights attorneys welcome opportunities to advise and represent victims of LGBTQ discrimination. Based in Columbus, we are available to help workers all across Ohio. You can schedule a free and confidential consultation online or by calling 614.610.9755.
Rachel was absolutely amazing. As an attorney she really took the time to really listen to my concerns. She was honest and kept me informed every step of the way. The outcome was favorable on my behalf and I appreciate her efforts to achieve a good outcome. I would highly recommend her and the Friedmann firm to represent me if ever needed in future.
Working with Rachel Sabo from Friedmann Firm was absolutely amazing! She upholds integrity, honesty and without a doubt fights for what is right! Rachel was extremely transparent and real! Please don’t let wrong be right, Rachel will strive to advocate and put her whole heart in obtaining resolve in your situation! What an absolute blessing, she won my case in less than 1 week💪
My experience with the Friedmann Firm is an absolute 5 stars. From my very first call with Karen, to all of my communication with Rachel, everything exceeded all of my expectations. Rachel and Karen were so caring and understanding in a very sensitive situation. They responded immediately to any questions or concerns I had. I would HIGHLY recommend the Friedmann Firm. They are caring, professional, understanding, and I would trust them with any issue I have in the future.
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm were fantastic to work with. The thought of needing an employment lawyer was scary for me, it was confusing and complex. But Rachel listened, asked questions and took time to really understand me and my priorities. I felt calm, supported and excited for the first time in weeks after talking to her!! We worked together to review everything, set expectations and meet my priorities! Thanks Rachel and team for all your work!!!
Rachel Friedmann of the Friedman Firm was my attorney for a very recent legal matter. I would highly recommend Rachel based on her legal knowledge, her honest appraisal of the matter and expected outcomes, her open communication and timely responses to my questions and the matter itself, and her steadfastness in dealing with the opposing counsel until a final agreement was reached.
Rachel and her staff went over and above the call of duty to help me achieve fiscal resolution to my legal issue. She wasn’t always available to talk but was always responsive via text and email when in court out of the office and even on vacation. I feel she earned her percentage cut.
Couldn’t be happier with the representation I received from Jamie Bailey on my civil litigation case. She worked tirelessly to resolve the case and in the end negotiated a fair settlement on my behalf. I would highly recommend her to anyone! Thanks for everything Friedman law firm.
Friedman Firm was a great help in a difficult time in my life. They went above and beyond to get me back on track. Rachel was so good to work with and is extremely knowledgeable about the law and employment rights. Can't thank them enough for all there hard work. Highly recommend them to anyone.
The Friedmann Firm (specifically Pete Friedmann) represented me through what seemed like a never ending employment discrimination suit. The suit was filed just before Covid shut everything down in 2020. Add to that a former employer who refused to admit fault. In spite of all of that, Pete stood resolute in his representation of me and working for the best outcome for me. We ended up settling prior to trial and I was more than satisfied with the results. Pete was always available to answer questions and reassure me throughout this process. I highly recommend The Friedmann Firm!
Pete Friedmann and his firm are fantastic. He represented me for more than a year going through a suit with a previous employer. He walked me through every step of the process and was always quick to respond to any questions I had. My settlement came in and we parted ways with both sides being pleased with the outcome. I highly recommend the Friedmann firm and wouldn’t hesitate to use them again in the future if the need arose. Thank you, Pete!
Rachel and the Friedmann Firm have been amazing to work with. Rachel was very helpful, listened to our concerns and took our case. She communicated well throughout and really worked for us. We were very well represented!
I loved working with The Friedmann Firm. Rachel and Jamie are exceptional lawyers and were diligent in reviewing my case and letting me know of my options. Jamie was extremely thorough and handled even the smallest details of my case with ease. The entire process was seamless and they were always quick to respond to emails and calls. I would definitely recommend working with The Friedmann Firm.
I would recommend Rachel Sabo Friedmann and the Friedmann firm for severance negotiations. Rachel was always available and responsive and made an effort to ensure I was updated on every step of the process. Her diligent efforts produced a prompt resolution and we are very happy with the results!