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EEO Discrimination Complaint

State of Ohio Employees and Job Applicants

In Ohio, discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, defined as age, color, disability, genetic information, military status, veterans' status, national origin/ancestry, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation is prohibited.

The Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Equal Opportunity Division enforces federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination for agencies under the purview of the governor. These laws protect employees and employment candidates against employment discrimination when it involves:

  • Unfair treatment because of an employee or applicant's age, color, disability, gender, genetic information, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
  • Harassment by managers because of an employee or applicant's age, color, disability, gender, genetic information, military status, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation.
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace accomodation that is necessary because of an employee or applicant's religious beliefs of disability.
  • Retaliation because an employee complained about employment discrimination or assisted with an employment discrimination investigation.

The complaint of discrimination must include all of the following:

  • a state of Ohio employee or applicant alleging discrimation against a state agency (under the purview of the Governor's Office)
  • allegations involving discrimination, discriminatory harassment and/or retaliation
  • the discriminatory action occurred within 30 days from the date of filing a complaint

If you believe you have experienced discrimination, you may file a "Complaint of Discrimination."  All required information (designated with an asterisk (*)) must be filled out completely before successfully submitting your complaint.  If you would like a copy of this information, please print before sending.  You must have an email address so that we are able to communicate with you.  Once a complaint is submitted, the sytem wil assign an auto-generated complaint number.  An Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Enforcement Officer will evaluate your complaint and contact you within five (5) business days.  Agency EEO representatives will investigate complaints.  If you have any questions, please call a member of the EEO team at 614.752.4741.

Click on one of the links below for more information:

What is discrimination?
What is race discrimination?
What is discrimination based on color?
What is age discrimination?
What is discrimination based on religion?
What is sex or gender discrimination?
What is sexual harassment discrimination?
What is national origin discrimination?
What is disability discrimination?
What is discrimination based on sexual orientation?
How is sexual orientation defined?
What is discrimination based on veteran or military status?
What is genetic information discrimination?



What is discrimination?

To "discriminate" against someone means to treat that person differently, or less favorably, for some reason.  The laws enforced by the Ohio Department of Administrative Services' Equal Opportunity Division protect you against employment discrimination when it involves:

  • Unfair treatment because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older), veteran or military status, sexual orientation or genetic information.
  • Harassment by managers, co-workers or others in your workplace, because of your race, color, religion, sex (gender), national origin, disability, age (age 40 or older), veteran or military status (past, present and future), sexual orientation or genetic information.
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace change that you need because of your religious beliefs or disability.
  • Retaliation because you complained about job discrimination, or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.


What is race discrimination?

Race discrimination occurs when individuals are treated differently in their employment because of their race, color or ethnic origin. If you have been rejected for employment, fired or otherwise harmed in your employment because of your race, then you may have suffered race discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination in employment based on race. Title VII makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against individuals because of their race in hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment, such as promotions, raises and other job opportunities. The laws of most states also prohibit discrimination based on race.


What is discrimination based on color?

Color discrimination occurs when individuals are treated differently from others who are similarly situated because of the color of their skin. This is a separately identifiable type of discrimination, which can also occur in conjunction with race discrimination. Color discrimination can also occur in the absence of race discrimination when members of the same race are treated differently because of their skin colors. In Felix V. Manquez, 24EPD 279 (D.C.D.C. 1980), the court held that color discrimination is actionable under Title VII. The Court origins stated that in view of the mixture of race and ancestral origins in Puerto Rico, where the defendant employee was located, color was the most practical claim to present.

Color discrimination also exists when all brown skinned persons are treated differently from persons of other color regardless of either's race. Example: The employer does not hire anyone darker than cafe au lait (coffee with cream), but does hire light-skinned and/or White persons of all races.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based upon color. Title VII makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against individuals because of their race in hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment, such as promotions, raises and other job opportunities. The laws of most states also prohibit discrimination based on color.


What is age discrimination?

If you are 40 years of age or older, and you have been harmed by a decision affecting your employment, you may have suffered unlawful age discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that protects individuals 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination. The ADEA protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) amended the ADEA to specifically prohibit employers from denying benefits to older employees. While an older worker is also covered by several other workplace laws, these are the main federal laws, which specifically protect older workers against discrimination based on age.


What is discrimination based on religion?

Religious discrimination is treating individuals differently in their employment because of their religion, their religious beliefs and practices and/or their request for accommodation (a change in a workplace rule or policy) of their religious beliefs and practices. It also includes treating individuals differently in their employment because of their lack of religious belief or practice. If you have been rejected for employment, fired, harassed or otherwise harmed in your employment because of your religion, your religious beliefs and practices and/or your request for accommodation of their religious beliefs and practices, you may have suffered unlawful religious discrimination. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based on religion. Title VII makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment, such as promotions, raises and other job opportunities.

Title VII also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee or prospective employee, unless to do so would create an "undue hardship" upon the employer. Flexible scheduling, voluntary substitutions or swaps, job reassignments and lateral transfers are examples of ways of accommodating an employee's religious beliefs.


What is sex or gender discrimination?

Sex or gender based discrimination is treating individuals differently in their employment specifically because an individual is a woman or a man. If you have been rejected for employment, fired or otherwise harmed in employment because of your sex or gender, then you may have suffered sex or gender discrimination.

In everyday language as well as in the law, the terms "gender" and "sex" are used inter-changeably, but the two terms have different meanings. Social scientists use the term "sex" to refer to a person's biological or anatomical identity as male or female, while reserving the term "gender" for the collection of characteristics that are culturally associated with maleness or femaleness. Discrimination is generally illegal regardless of whether it is based on sex, or gender, or both sex and gender.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based upon sex. This law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against individuals because of their sex in hiring, firing and other terms and conditions of employment, such as promotions, raises and other job opportunities.


What is sexual harassment discrimination?

Sexual harassment is a form of employment discrimination based on gender which is prohibited by law. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:

-- submission to the conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment;

-- submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

-- such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.


What is national origin discrimination?

National origin discrimination is treating an individual differently in their employment because of the country that individual or their ancestors came from. If you have been rejected for employment, fired or otherwise harmed in your employment because of your birthplace, ancestry, culture or way of speaking (if it's common to a specific ethnic group), you may have suffered unlawful national origin discrimination.

It is also against the law to discriminate against an employee because of:

-- marriage to, or association with, persons of a national origin group;
-- membership in, or association with, ethnic promotion groups;
-- attendance or participation in schools, churches, temples or mosques generally associated with a national origin group; or
-- a family name associated with a national origin group.

Here are some examples of potentially unlawful national origin discrimination:

-- Affiliation: Harassing or otherwise discriminating because an individual is affiliated with a particular religious or ethnic group. For example, you are harassed because you are Arab or practice Islam, or are paid less than other workers because you are Mexican.

-- Physical or cultural traits and clothing: Harassing or otherwise discriminating because of physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics, such as accent or dress associated with a particular religion, ethnicity or country of origin. For example, you are harassed by coworkers for wearing a hijab (a body covering and/or head-scarf worn by some Muslims), not hired because you have a dark complexion and an accent believed to be African. Height and weight requirements can also be evidence that an employer discriminates against a specific national origin, if the requirements do not relate to the job.

-- Perception: Harassing or otherwise discriminating because of the perception or belief that a person is a member of a particular racial, national origin or religious group, even if the person is not. For example, you're a Chinese woman not hired because the hiring official believed that you were from Vietnam, or you are a Sikh man wearing a turban harassed by a coworker because the harasser thought you were Muslim.

-- Association: Harassing or otherwise discriminating because of an individual's association with a person or organization of a particular religion or ethnicity. For example, you are harassed because your husband is originally from Afghanistan, or you are not promoted because you attend a mosque.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based upon national origin. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), is a federal law covering almost all immigration matters. It protects individuals from employment discrimination based on immigration or citizenship status, and prohibits document abuse discrimination, which occurs when employers request more or different documents than are required to verify employment eligibility and identity, reject reasonably genuine-looking documents or specify certain documents over others.

While many other workplace laws also cover employees, these are the main federal laws that protect workers against discrimination based on national origin.


What is disability discrimination?

Disability discrimination means treating individuals differently in employment because of their disability, perceived disability or association with an individual with a disability. Some examples of disability discrimination include:

-- discriminating on the basis of physical or mental disability in various aspects of employment, including: recruitment, firing, hiring, training, job assignments, promotions, pay, benefits, lay off, leave and all other employment-related activities.

-- harassing an employee on the basis of his or her disability.

-- asking job applicants questions about their past or current medical conditions, or requiring job applicants to take medical exams.

-- creating or maintaining a workplace that includes substantial physical barriers to the movement of people with physical disabilities.

-- refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees with physical or mental disability that would allow them to work.

If any of these things have happened to you on the job, you may have suffered disability discrimination. If you have a disability and are qualified to do a job, there are federal and state laws protecting you from job discrimination, harassment and retaliation on the basis of your disability. You are also protected if you are a victim of discrimination because of your association (family, business, social or other relationship) with an individual with a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), makes it illegal for private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment. Sections of the ADA not relating to employment address discrimination by governmental agencies and in public accommodations.

The Rehabilitation Act makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability in programs conducted by Federal agencies, in programs receiving Federal financial assistance, in Federal employment, and in the employment practices of Federal contractors. The standards for determining employment discrimination under the Rehabilitation Act are the same as those used in the Americans with Disabilities Act.


What is discrimination based on sexual orientation?

Discrimination based on sexual orientation occurs when individuals are discriminated against based on actual or perceived sexual orientation. Individuals are protected pursuant to Gubernatorial Executive Order 2011-05KS entitled Establishing an Anti-Discrimination Policy in State Government Employment.


How is sexual orientation defined?

a. Sexual Orientation: A person’s actual or perceived homosexuality, bisexuality or heterosexuality, by orientation or practice, by and between adults who have the ability to give consent.


What is discrimination based on veteran or military status?

Discrimination based on veteran or military status (past, present or future) refers to service in the uniformed services, which is defined under Section 5903.01(G) of the Ohio Revised Code as performance of a duty, on a voluntary or involuntary basis, in a uniformed service under competent authority. This includes active duty, active duty for training, initial active duty for training, inactive duty for training, full-time national guard duty, the commissioned corps of the public health service and any other category of persons designated by the President of the United States in time of war or emergency, and performance of duty or training by a member of the Ohio organized militia, and the period of time for which a person is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of an examination to determine the fitness of the person to perform any duty in a uniformed service. Ohio law prohibits discrimination on the basis of an individual’s past, current or future military status in hiring, promotion, tenure, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, terms, conditions and privileges of employment or any other matter directly or indirectly related to employment.


What is genetic information discrimination?

Discrimination, discriminatory harassment or retaliation based on genetic information is defined under the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. It occurs when treat someone differently because of his or her information learned from the results of genetic tests and the genetic tests of his or her family members, as well as information about any disease, disorder or condition of an individual’s family members (i.e., an individual’s family medical history). The law prohibits the use of genetic information in making employment decisions, restricts acquisition of genetic information by employers and other entities covered under Title II, and strictly limits the disclosure of genetic information.


 

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Phone: 614-466-8380
Fax: 614-728-2785

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