Ohio is an at-will employment state, which means that generally speaking, an employer can fire a worker for just about any reason, even very unfair ones. Fortunately, there are laws that prohibit employers from terminating a worker for illegal reasons, which include, for example, discrimination based on age, disability, race or gender, or retaliation against employees who report certain workplace violations.
Being fired can place an enormous amount of stress on an employee and his or her family, so if you were recently fired and have reason to believe that you were wrongfully terminated, please contact our legal team to speak with an experienced employment attorney who can explain your legal options.
Although Ohio courts strictly enforce the at-will employment doctrine, they do recognize some exceptions, such as termination as a means of retaliation in response to an employee’s decision to:
In addition to protecting employees from retaliation by employers, both state and federal law prohibit employers from discriminating against workers based on any of the following traits:
Ohio residents who were fired for discriminatory reasons can file a claim with either the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Deciding which agency to file with can be difficult and depends largely on the circumstances of each case. An experienced attorney can assist you both with filing a charge and during the agency’s investigation.
Employers are also not permitted to terminate an employee without cause if doing so was in violation of some written or implied promises. Under certain circumstances, such promises could include:
This is especially true if an employee has relied on a promise to his detriment, for example giving up another job or moving to a different city.
Although it can be more difficult to establish that termination was wrongful if there is no written evidence of the promises, it is not always necessary to have a written contract in order to establish that a firing was wrongful.
Both state and federal agencies encourage mediation as a means of reaching a settlement between an employer and an employee. However, this is not always possible, in which case, a wronged employee can file a claim in court. If successful, he or she could collect some or all of the following damages:
If you live in Ohio and have questions or concerns about a recent termination of employment, please contact the legal team at Marshall Forman & Schlein LLC and speak to an experienced employment attorney.
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