More and more employees have taken the brave step of speaking out about discrimination they have experienced in the workplace. Both employees and employers throughout Ohio have a growing awareness of the prevalence and unacceptability of workplace discrimination.
The United States has several federal laws in place to protect the rights of workers. Individual states can pass their own laws to enhance these laws. As a result, Ohio’s workplace discrimination laws have several unique aspects that workers and employers alike should understand.
Understanding Ohio’s discrimination laws
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency that enforces workers’ civil rights laws, identifies six categories of employees protected from discrimination on the job. These categories include:
- Nation of origin
Ohio employment law singles out four other classes protected by the law:
- Sexual orientation
- Military status
- Veterans’ status
In our state, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against these ten categories. Some common examples discrimination are discriminatory hiring and promoting practices, making comments or jokes and posting inappropriate materials around the job site.
Workers should know their rights
Every employee who belongs to a protected category has the right to a discrimination-free workplace. However, this is more easily said than done. It is not always easy to get one’s colleagues or employer to put an end to discrimination.
Any worker who believes that they have experienced discriminatory workplace practices can file a claim with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, which oversees allegations of civil rights violations against workers. Another option is to contact an employment attorney and discuss legal options, including a civil suit. This can not only put an end to unlawful behavior but also recover compensation for various damages.