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Your Rights Under EEO

The State of Ohio is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Employer that promotes diversity, inclusion, accessibility and workplaces free from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. We follow EEO law and give you assurance that all employment-related decisions made about you are done using objective and non-discriminatory criteria, in other words are not based on a protected status you hold.  

The Office of DEI is responsible for ensuring the State of Ohio maintains full compliance with EEO Law, including enforcing the state's EEO Policy. The State EEO Coordinator is part of the Office of DEI and is responsible for overseeing the Internal Discrimination Complaint Process.

State of Ohio Employees and Job Applicants: Know Your Rights

State of Ohio employees and applicants are guaranteed:

  • Freedom from discrimination, harassment or retaliation at any stage of the employment process.
  • Equal access to programs and services offered, seeking employment and employment opportunities.

Learn more about your rights by accessing EEO Know Your Rights.

A group of people smiling next to the text "Know Your Rights."

Filing a Complaint

If you believe your agency has violated the state or agency EEO Policy, you have the right to file a complaint with the Office of DEI by clicking the button above. In order for your case to be accepted for investigation, the following criteria must be met:

  • You must be a State of Ohio Employee or Applicant.
  • Uou must allege a violation of the EEO Policy based on discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation.
  • You must identify what protected statuses were involved and what the employment-related decision was.
  • You have filed within 30 days of the decision.

The Protected Statuses

The State of Ohio's EEO Policy covers the below list of protected statuses.  This list covers more than what the law requires.  Some protected statuses are permanent, while others are for a certain period of time.  All people have many permanent protected statuses. 

  • Age (40 years of age or older).
  • Disability.
  • Gender and sex.
  • Gender identity and gender expression.
  • Genetic information.
  • Military status.
  • National origin (ancestry).
  • Race and color.
  • Religion.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Status as a foster parent.
  • Status as parent during pregnancy and immediately after the birth of a child.
  • Status as a parent of a young child (under 9 years of age).

Employment-Related Decisions

For the state EEO Policy to apply, there must be an employment-related decision about you that has occurred. Employment-related decisions are not just decisions made about hiring, promotion, or termination, but also decisions around assignment of duties, opportunity for training and the general work culture or environment. Decisions can be made by anyone in your agency who has been given authority, for example your direct supervisor, a member of management, a member of leadership or a member of the human resource team.

Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Defined

The state EEO policy covers instances of discrimination, harassment or retaliation.  

Discrimination occurs when an employment action is taken based on your status as a member of a protected class. There are two forms of discrimination: 1) Disparate Treatment is where an employer intentionally treats you differently because of your protected class and 2) Disparate Impact is where an employment policy that, though neutral on its face, unfairly impacts a protected class.

Harassment is unwelcome conduct based on a protected class that you hold. This behavior is against state EEO policy when you are expected to endure it as a condition of employment (quid pro quo), or it creates an intimidating, hostile or abusive work environment. Harassing behavior can be verbal or physical and could include name calling, slurs, jokes, gestures, leering, stalking, unwanted physical contact or assault.

Retaliation occurs when the employer acts negatively against you for asserting your right's under EEO law or policy.  For EEO protected rights include requesting an accommodation; fling, testifying or participating in an EEO investigation, proceeding, or lawsuit; or opposing discriminatory employment practices.