If you’re like many people, you don’t pay a lot of attention to new state laws until they affect you. You may not be familiar with Ohio’s new Employment Law Uniformity Act, which became effective on April 15 of this year.
However, if you’re considering filing a discrimination claim against your employer, you need to know what the law does. It applies to any claims filed on its effective date or later.
Key provisions of the new law
First, it should be noted that Ohio law makes it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on their race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, disability or military status.
The new law reduces the statute of limitations for filing a claim considerably. It had been six years, which was the longest of any state in the country. It’s now just two years. Under the new law, employees or former employees must file a discrimination claim with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) and wait for a resolution before filing a lawsuit. The new law also limits the conditions under which individual supervisors can be sued for discrimination.
These are just a few of the changes that were made by state lawmakers to bring Ohio law more in line with federal law and also to make things easier for small businesses facing discrimination claims.
What can victims of workplace discrimination do?
If you believe you are or have been the victim of discrimination in the workplace because you’re a member of a protected class, you have the right to make a complaint and seek a fair work environment. If you’re not able to resolve the issue by going to your manager or human resources professionals in your company, you have options for pursuing justice outside of your workplace. If you’d like to take the matter to the OCRC, you may benefit from getting some experienced legal guidance.