Columbus Race Discrimination Lawyers

Employers are not permitted to treat candidates or workers unjustly or unequally based on race. Unfortunately, even though discrimination in the workplace is illegal under both Ohio law and federal law, some employers continue to implement discriminatory hiring practices.

Columbus Race Discrimination Lawyers

A knowledgeable workplace discrimination lawyer can assist in defending your rights if you were subjected to harassment at work, declined for a promotion, or rejected for a job.

Claims Under Federal Law

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, one of the most well-known anti-discrimination legislation, forbids companies with more than 15 employees from discriminating against any employee on the basis of his or her race, national origin, color, religion, or sex. Race-based discrimination can take many different forms, however the following are the most typical:

  • Workplace harassment, which includes inappropriate jokes, insults, racial slurs, and displaying offensive symbols
  • Offering a lower wage to those of a certain race
  • Denying the opportunity for career advancement or a pay raise to someone because of his or her race
  • Denying a prospective employee a job purely because of his or her race
  • Terminating someone’s employment because of his or her race

These outright discriminatory actions are unlawful under both state and federal law. Some types of discrimination, however, are less obvious. For instance, it is discriminatory for an employer to create a policy, even if it applies to all employees, that:

  • Is not job-related or necessary to the successful operation of the employer’s business; and
  • Hurts employees or applicants of a particular race.

As long as they do so within 300 days of the discriminatory act, employees or applicants who have been harmed by these types of policies may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

After conducting an investigation, this agency will decide whether or not to file a lawsuit. The claimant has the right to bring a civil lawsuit against the employer on their own, even if the EEOC decides not to take the case to court.

Filing a Complaint Under State Law

Additionally, discrimination against employees and applicants in any situation directly or indirectly related to employment is prohibited by Ohio law for businesses with four or more employees. This includes forbidding activities based on racial preferences:

  • Firing without cause
  • Refusing to hire
  • Refusing to offer tenure
  • Offering lower wages or privileges of employment

Although both Title VII and state law, provide the same basic protections, Ohio law also makes it unlawful to:

  • Aid, compel, or coerce a discriminatory act
  • Obstruct or prevent someone from complying with state law regarding discrimination
  • Attempt to commit a discriminatory act

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC), which performs comparable duties to the EEOC and looks into all accusations of employment discrimination, accepts claims from discrimination victims. A formal hearing will be held if the agency discovers reasonable grounds to suspect that the practice was discriminatory.

The OCRC, as opposed to the EEOC, has the authority to decide these allegations, albeit an Ohio state court may hear an appeal of their ruling. The OCRC must receive claims within six months of the day the discriminatory act occurred. A claimant must also not exhaust administrative remedies through the OCRC before bringing a lawsuit in a court of common pleas, contrary to federal claims.

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