No one should ever have to go to a hostile work environment every day where and experience continued discrimination. Under Ohio law, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees. Federal law also makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on certain characteristics, such as a person’s race, gender, religion, color, national origin, age, disability, or pregnancy. When employers break these laws and violate an employee’s rights, those discriminated against should speak to a discrimination attorney in Madison County to determine if we can help.
Unlawful discrimination is not always easy to identify in the workplace. Sometimes employees simply get the feeling they are being discriminated against but cannot pinpoint how it is occurring. Fortunately, there are many signs that could indicate an employer is engaging in discriminatory practices.
An employer may make discriminatory statements about an employee in a protected class. They may make jokes or slurs that are offensive. In some cases, these statements may be subtle. For example, an employer may often ask an older employee about retirement. If these statements or questions are accompanied by behavior, such as demoting the employee, that may be discrimination.
It is also important to observe how an employer treats other employees in similar positions. For example, if a woman was fired for allegedly engaging in misconduct, but a male employee in a similar job was not fired for the same action, it may indicate that the woman was fired based on her gender.
One telltale sign of workplace discrimination is when an employer deviates from their own workplace policies for certain groups of people. For example, a workplace may have a policy that employees with the most seniority are given the most hours in a work week. If an employer departs from this policy and fails to give an African-American employee those hours even though they have seniority and are otherwise qualified and eligible for the additional hours, it may indicate that the employer is making that decision based on race, which is unlawful discrimination.
If an employee notices these, or any other signs of unlawful discrimination, in the workplace, he or she should speak to a discrimination attorney serving Madison County.
When employees have been discriminated against, they can take action. This may state with making a formal complaint to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The OCRC and EEOC will then begin an investigation to determine if workplace discrimination is occurring.
Not only is it illegal for employers to discriminate against employees, but it is also illegal for them to retaliate against employees who file a complaint. Even if it turns out that the discrimination claim cannot be proved, if the employer treats the employee unfavorably because a complaint was filed, it may be still be considered retaliation. However, the complaint must have been made in good faith, meaning the employee must have had reason to believe there was actual discrimination occurring.
The complaint does not necessarily need to be a formal complaint filed with the OCRC or the EEOC. When employers retaliate against a worker for informally reporting discrimination to Human Resources or to a superior or if the employee participates in an investigation of a discrimination complaint filed by another employee, the employee may be able to take action for this, as well. Examples of retaliatory treatment include demotion, failing to promote the employee, a reduction in salary, or termination solely because the employee complained about discrimination or assisted another employee with a discrimination complaint.
At Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC, our discrimination attorneys in Madison County know how difficult it is to go to work if you are being treated in a discriminatory manner. If your employer has discriminated against you or retaliated against you for making a complaint in good faith, call us today or contact us online. We can help hold employers liable and can help secure legal remedies that you may be entitled to receive.
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