What Are the Disability Discrimination Laws in Ohio?

Employer discrimination is an important topic of conversation for businesses of all sizes. As an employee, you also need to be educated in the rights that you have for fair treatment when you are on the job or when you are being hired. For those who are applying for jobs or showing up at work every day with a disability, there are legal protections in place that protect your right to work.

Employers in Ohio must follow the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits certain discriminatory practices from being taken against those with a disability. These laws were amended in 2008 to help employees to seek protection from this kind of treatment on the job. The Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) enforces these provisions of the ADA as well.

What Are the Disability Discrimination Laws Followed in Ohio?

The Ohio Revised Code Section 4112.02 states that it is unlawful for employers to refuse to hire anyone or discriminate against anyone based on these factors:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Military status
  • National origin
  •  Disability
  • Age
  • Ancestry
  • Disability

Disability is defined as someone that has a limitation upon their major life activities. This might be taking care of themselves, physical labor, hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, and walking. This definition also applies to those that have a record of physical or mental impairment.

These regulations apply to private employers with four or more employees and also to all state, government, and large corporate employers in Ohio. There are many specific laws that are targeted at issues related to discrimination in the workplace. While there are some loopholes in Ohio law related to discrimination against LGBTQ workers, the Supreme Court has stated that this kind of discrimination is not allowed either.

The federal laws that Ohio also must follow are numerous, but key among them is the ADA Amendments act of 2008, which helped clarify the definition of a disability. The other important federal law that Ohio employers must adhere to is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 Titles I and V. This law states that state and local governments cannot discriminate against disabled employees. The Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 4112, also prohibits discrimination at work based on a variety of factors which include disability.  

There are older laws that apply in Ohio, as well as the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which is enforced by the EEOC and which does not allow payment of wages and benefits to be impacted by discrimination. There are various other civil rights acts that are followed in Ohio as well related to age, color, gender, and more. Disability was not always included in these protected groups but has been added to the roster over the years. It took far too long for these laws to protect those with disabilities as well, but today this is part of the language of these employment and civil regulations.

How Can I File a Complaint?

The various laws that protect disabled employees from being discriminated against allow for a reporting process. These complaints must be filed within a set timeframe to be investigated. A breach of federal law must be reported to the EEOC, and a state law violation must be reported to State Agencies. In Ohio, this state agency is the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or OCRC.

There are some options that are laid out for informal resolution of these issues by employers, but they do not apply in all cases. The informal options have limited time periods where they can be honored as well. This is to allow employers time to correct internal issues related to discrimination and avoid the cost of going to trial over this kind of problem in the workplace.

You Cannot Be Discriminated Against Due to Your Disability

If you have been discriminated against due to a disability, you have rights that you can exercise to hold the employer accountable and to get your job back. You will want to work with a skilled lawyer who is familiar with this kind of case to seek the compensation and judgment that you feel that you deserve.

Working with a disability is your right, and you should not be denied employment or released from employment solely because of your disability. Reach out to Hux Law Firm if you feel that you have been fired due to discrimination. Our skilled team of lawyers can help you to seek the compensation that you deserve and help you to get your job back.