Is It Legal to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Workers in Ohio?

Employment rights are always an important topic for those who own businesses. There are often complex laws surrounding discrimination that come into play when employees need to be released from a contract, fired, or hired. For businesses that are seeking to maintain a fair and legal employee hiring and disciplinary process, discrimination is a key factor that is always on their minds.

Ohio does not have a statewide law that protects LGBTQ people from being discriminated against. This comes into play in employment circles because this is a departure from the legal requirements that are in place in many other states in the US — and there have been instances where local ordinances have actually banned LGBTQ individuals from certain areas of the city.

 If you are ready to learn some more about the legality of LGBTQ discrimination in the state of Ohio, then read on for information from Hux Law Firm.

Ohio Law Does not Address Discrimination Related to Gender and Orientation

There is no official Ohio law with regard to this issue and employment. The Supreme court has ruled in the past that employment discrimination is still illegal in all parts of the US. This determination was handed down in Bostock v. Clayton County in 2020.

In the cities of Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo, there are anti-discrimination laws in place that protect access to housing and public accommodations for LGBTQ individuals. Conversion therapy has also been banned in some parts of Ohio.

Business owners will have to refer to the ordinances and laws of their city or county when considering gender-based hiring and firing. That being said, the determination of the Supreme Court in Bostick v Clayton County states that any employer in Ohio that discriminates against employees based on gender or orientation is violating Title VII.

Title VII is part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the eyes of the Supreme Court, bias based on gender and orientation is no different than bias based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

What Does This Mean for Ohio Employers?

Ohio employers should be cautious when they are creating their HR policies for the hiring, firing, and discipline of employees. While Ohio might not have specific anti-discrimination laws in place to protect LGBTQ employees, the Supreme Court has made it very clear that this kind of discrimination is not legal.

There are various areas within the state where this Supreme Court decision has been upheld in contrast with other cities and counties that have either made no determination or have actually gone so far as to ban LGBTQ individuals from public areas, employment, and housing. States’ rights on this issue have continued to cause lopsided enforcement of Supreme Court determinations, and Ohio is one such state where this issue persists.

 The legality of these actions in the state of Ohio might not be in question in certain parts of the state, but if any employment issue is escalated to a court of law, the likelihood that Ohio law will be upheld in the face of a Supreme Court decision is quite small. Employers should be wary of creating internal discrimination policies that might violate this Supreme Court decision.

Businesses that believe that they need to enact internal rules that might cause discrimination issues are advised to seek legal counsel before doing so. The issue of gender and orientation rights has gathered increasing attention in recent years, and it is likely that there will be changes to Ohio law on the matter over the next few years.

What to Do If You Have Been Discriminated Against Based on Gender or Orientation?

If you have been discriminated against by an employer in the state of Ohio based on your gender or orientation, you should seek legal counsel. While Ohio laws might allow these actions to be taken in certain cities and counties, the Supreme Court of the United States has stated clearly that these practices are not legal.

Employment rights should not apply only to those that companies believe deserve access to them. Employees should be hired, fired, and managed with fairness and equal rights at all times. Exercising local law with regard to orientation and gender is almost always a breach of Supreme Court law.

Contact Hux Law Firm if you have experienced discrimination based on your orientation or gender while you were at work in Ohio. Our expert team can help to defend your case and support your right to legal employment practices in the state of Ohio.