While there are laws in Ohio designed to prevent employers from implementing discriminatory policies, discrimination still happens. Proving employment discrimination may be especially challenging in Ohio due to the state’s “employment at will” doctrine. If you feel that you are experiencing discrimination in your job, you may choose to file a charge or pursue a lawsuit.

Ohio’s “employment at will” doctrine allows an employer to fire an employee at any time even without a reason. There are a few exceptions, such as when an employee has a contract or is acting as a whistle-blower. There are also state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination due to race, religion, sexual orientation, age and other aspects. If you do get fired, it may be challenging to prove the cause was discrimination.

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission is the organization that may intervene in your situation. It may investigate charges of discrimination relating to hiring, termination, work environment, harassment, promotion and disciplinary actions. If you think your employer is discriminating against you based on protected attributes such as your race, age or sexual orientation, you may file a discrimination charge with the OCRC. The organization may only investigate claims related to employment in Ohio. You must file a charge within 180 days of the discriminatory incident.

If the OCRC investigates the situation and determines that your employer discriminated against you unlawfully, there may be a settlement, a formal complaint or a lawsuit. In some cases, the OCRC may help you settle the matter with your employer. If you do not reach an agreement, you may choose to pursue a lawsuit.

This information on employment discrimination is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.