Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws many forms of discrimination in hiring and employment. Since that law took effect, lawmakers in Washington, DC, and Columbus, OH, have expanded protections against getting skipped over for job interviews, raises, and promotions. State and federal anti-discrimination laws can also prevent employers from firing workers for reasons unrelated to performance. If we determine a legal violation is likely, these laws allow workers to sue for damages when co-workers and/or managers harass and abuse them as well.
Currently, companies and managers are prohibited from discriminating against job applicants and employees based on race and skin color, national origin and ethnicity, sex or gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, pregnancy, and military service.
The Columbus-based discrimination attorneys with the Friedmann Firm briefly discuss each type of workplace discrimination below. Anyone who believes he or she has been a victim of workplace discrimination in Ohio is invited to contact us online or to schedule a consultation by calling (614) 610-9755.
Race or Skin Color
Many people view racial discrimination in the workplace as a literal black-and-white issue. In reality, any person can lose job opportunities or be subjected to insults and mistreatment because of the color of his or her skin. When a company does not comply with equal employment opportunity regulations, fails to enforce policies that prohibit racism, or does not allow employees of all races to take advantage of benefits and training, it is illegally discriminating.
In all cases involving discrimination, a company and its managers have the burden of proving that actions were taken for nondiscriminatory reasons.
National Origin or Ethnicity
Employers cannot rely on stereotypes when making decisions regarding hiring, assigning responsibilities, awarding raises and promotions, or terminations. Ideas about certain groups’ intelligence, work ethic, temperament, and trustworthiness unfortunately persist. Any company that acts or allows its staff members to act according to negative stereotypes about people from particular countries and ethnic groups is guilty of workplace discrimination.
Sex or Gender
Sex and gender discrimination remain serious problems, especially when it comes to offering equal pay for equal work and having senior staff members sexually harass subordinates. Examples of this type of discrimination include derogatory or sexually aggressive comments about an employees’ appearance; unwanted touching, assaults, or making career opportunities contingent on sexual favors; and setting lower pay rates for women who hold the same positions as men.
One of the most important things to understand about sex- and gender-based discrimination is that both men and women can experience discrimination based on their sex (i.e., body) and gender (i.e., actions thought of as male and female). Another is that federal and state laws guarantee only opportunities. For instance, a woman must be allowed to compete for a job that requires a certain amount of physical strength. As long as the assessment of job-related strength is fairly designed, administered, and judged, a woman can be disqualified for failing that test, just as a man could be if he failed the test.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers enjoy employment protections under the bans on sex and gender discrimination spelled out in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Ohio’s Civil Rights Commission and Ohio case law closely follow the lead of federal regulators and judges on these issues, but consulting with a workplace discrimination lawyer in Columbus before filing a legal action related to LGBT discrimination in state court is wise.
Only organizations that have explicitly religious missions can make holding and practicing certain religious beliefs a condition of employment. Also, the religious exemption from anti-discrimination employment laws usually only applies to specific positions. For instance, a Christian church can limit its search for ministers to Christian clergy, but a Catholic hospital cannot bar non-Catholics from working as doctors, nurses, and staff.
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employment discrimination against individuals older than 40. Companies and industries can enforce retirement ages for safety reasons, but no organization can act on the stereotype that a person is “too old” to do almost any job.
The Americans with Disability Act, or ADA, requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for people who have the skills and knowledge to do a job. Examples of reasonable accommodations include wheelchair ramps, oversized keyboards, and computer screens, and slightly redesigned equipment that permits use by people who lack full use of all four limbs. Extra time, instruction, and supervision can also be required for a person with a brain injury or intellectual limitation.
Managers cannot automatically reassign women who become pregnant, nor can women be terminated for taking FMLA leave due to pregnancy. Other provisions of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protect women from being fired while on leave for childbirth and grant women the right to continue accruing pay and other benefits while dealing with medical issues related to their pregnancy.
Passed only in 2008, the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prevents employers from taking any adverse employment action based on what it knows about an employee’s genetic conditions. For instance, a person with a family history of cancer cannot be denied insurance coverage that is available to other co-workers.
Until the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) became law in 1994, employers could hire behind workers called to active duty. That is, keeping one’s commitment as a military reservist or member of the National Guard could cost a person his or her civilian job. USERRA also preserves an active duty military member’s ability to continue accruing seniority at their civilian job while on active duty.
Any type of discrimination listed above merits a call to a Columbus workplace discrimination lawyer.
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!
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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!
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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.