If you face discrimination at work because of your age, Ohio's new employment law gives you an easier way to file a claim. The change involving age discrimination claims is just one of the significant revisions to Ohio’s system of dealing with discrimination in the workplace.
Lawmakers approved House Bill 352, the Employment Law Uniformity Act, which modifies civil rights laws related to employment. The Act, which was signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, goes into effect this month. It is designed to strike a balance between the rights of employees and the obligations of employers. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce has long pushed for the types of reform that are part of the new Act.
The impact of the Employment Law Uniformity Act
Here are highlights of the new law:
- Age discrimination claims: The Uniformity Act ushers in a welcome change for workers who face age discrimination. Prior to this new law, the process for filing age discrimination claims was complex and confusing. Fortunately, the new law simplifies the process. The procedure to file an age discrimination claim is the same as the process for filing other discrimination claims based on protected characteristics.
- Statute of Limitations: Under the new law, an individual must bring a discrimination claim within two years of the alleged act. Previously, the statute of limitations was six years.
- Procedural change: The employee must file a charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC). The change is designed to force the individual alleging discrimination to exhaust administrative remedies before filing an action in court against the employer.
- Affirmative defenses: The Uniformity Act provides a statutory “affirmative defense” to hostile work environment and claims of harassment. An affirmative defense is a response that an employer uses when served with a lawsuit. If a supervisor is accused of creating a hostile work environment, an employer can raise an affirmative defense. The employer must prove that it exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct any harassing behavior. In addition, the employer must prove that the worker who is alleging a hostile work environment unreasonably failed to take advantage of the employer’s preventative or corrective opportunities.
How an employment lawyer in Ohio can help you
If you have faced discrimination at work, you shouldn't have to navigate the confusing system on your own. Claims involving employment law are exceptionally complex, but an attorney can guide you through every step of the process and aggressively advocate for your best interests.
Let an experienced employment lawyer from Nilges Draher LLC in Ohio protect your rights and explain your legal options. Our legal professionals can put experience and resources to work for you. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.