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 and Dominick were incredibly helpful throughout the entire process. They got back to me quickly, whenever I had questions, which helped me stay calm during a very stressful time. Rachel was confident in her abilities and knowledge of the labor laws, and she was able to secure a settlement for me. If you ever find yourself in a situation that requires you take action against an employer, I would highly recommend the Friedman Firm. There's no one I would recommend more to be in your corner.
If you are in need of an employment attorney, this is your sign to talk to Rachel and Jamie. Amazing!! They handled my case like the true professionals they are! They stuck to a strategy, even when it seemed like it wasn’t going our way and BAM! We get the outcome we wanted. I couldn’t be happier and I will always return to them if I EVER have an employment issue again. Thank you so much for helping me and my family!
Dedicated! Thorough! Detailed! Professional! Personable! I can keep going with the many qualities Pete and his team have. I highly recommend him!!! You won't be disappointed.
I needed an employment lawyer to work through a non compete. Pete at The Friedmann Firm was listed as one of the three best rated employment lawyers on a local website. I called him in the morning and later that night he was on the case and provided sound council through a very tense negotiation. Don’t take a chance with your career, reach out and get good council. Pete was very responsive every step of the way and delivered positive results. I highly recommend Pete and his Firm!
Rachel was top-notch from start to finish. She was responsible, professional, quick to respond to emails, texts or phone calls. She gives it to you straight, which I prefer! She thinks outside the box and is definitely the dog you want in the fight for you. She does not waste time and immediately dives right in to get the best results she can for you. I would highly recommend Rachel and her firm to anyone who wants to get the job done right, the first time, in a professional, compassionate and decisive manner.
My wife used this firm for a matter she had with her former employer. She could not have been more satisfied with their services. They were timely in responses, courteous, and very thoughtful. This was a difficult process for her and Pete made it so much easier by handling all of the details of her case.
Rachel Sabo of The Friedmann Firm believed in me when no one else did & helped me through every step of my legal process. Very happy with the firm’s professionalism & dedication to my case.
I called them with some questions about my employment and Jamie was very helpful. I didn’t need an attorney to handle a case for me - only to help me navigate an issue I was having at work. She answered my questions and I felt she truly listened to me. I’d recommend this firm to anyone looking for an employment lawyer. Thank you!
Pete resolved issues I was having with my employer in a quick and favorable manner. He is also easy to talk to and understands his clients rights AND needs. You’d do right to call The Friedmann Firm.
I had a terrific experience with Rachel. She handled my case in a very professional manner. She made herself available and always kept me updated. Her knowledge of the law is incredible. She took the time to educate me on the legal processes so I understood what was happening with my case. Thank you Rachel for helping me navigate a most difficult situation. I am so thankful to have had you as my attorney. You have my highest recommendation.