Ohio employers may legally terminate a worker, with or without cause, under the state’s doctrine of employment at-will. However, it’s a violation of state and federal law for an employer to fire an employee on the basis of certain characteristics, such as the individual’s age, race, gender, or disability. In addition, employers cannot legally dismiss an employee for reporting violations of workplace regulations.
Fortunately, workers can recover compensation for wrongful termination against employers that engage in illegal practices. If you are an employee who was recently dismissed and feel that discrimination was a factor, a knowledgeable employment lawyer can review your circumstances and explain your legal remedies. You may also find some background information useful.
Termination may be wrongful when an employer retaliates against an employee for engaging protected activities, including:
Under both federal and Ohio law, it’s also illegal for employers to engage in discriminatory practices against workers on the basis of:
Ohio employees who were fired for reasons relating to discrimination can file a claim with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) which handles cases based upon violations of state law. At the federal level, a worker may opt to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). There is some overlap, so it’s wise to consult with a knowledgeable attorney about which of two options provides the most favorable outcome. A lawyer can also assist with filing and throughout the process.
It’s also a violation of law for an employer to dismiss a worker when the termination conflicts with a promise, whether made in writing or orally. Examples include:
Although there may be challenges in proving wrongful termination in the absence of documents or paperwork, it may not be necessary to present a signed contract to establish a cause of action.
The OCRC and EEOC encourage employers and workers to engage in the mediation process as an approach to resolve wrongful termination matters. If mediation doesn’t sufficiently dispose of all disputes, the aggrieved employee has the option of filing a lawsuit. He or she may be eligible to receive financial damages for a favorable verdict, such as:
If you were recently terminated from your job and have concerns about your employer’s misconduct in doing so, please contact an employment attorney at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC. Our knowledgeable legal team serves clients in Chillicothe, Columbus, and throughout the Central Ohio region, and we’re happy to discuss the details of your case.
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