Best Ohio Employment Discrimination Attorney Answer: Is it unlawful for my coworkers to make assumptions about me based on racial stereotypes? Can my boss use my race or gender to determine raises or promotions? What should I do if I was fired for complaining about discrimination and harassment at work?
Recently, Saturday Night Live aired a skit poking fun at diversity training in the 1990’s. The actors created a parody of a video training series entitled, “Women in the Workplace” and for the fifth installment in the series, the characters star in a feature called “Dealing with Diversity.”
The narrators of the video series note that they have helped female employees deal with topics including: where to cry at work, or excusing yourself from an important meeting because you have to tinkle.
The video begins with the hosts identifying hypothetical situations concerning not knowing where to look when speaking with a diverse person, or hiding in a coat closet all day after accidentally offending a diverse person.
In a simulation in the video, “unpaid actors” portray a scenario where a Caucasian female actress and actor and comedian Chris Rock engage in discussions about a promotion and stereotypes about African Americans.
The hosts give hilariously incorrect and awful advice, such as how to correct a situation where overcompensating has made the actress seem like a “nervous bigot.” Of course, the advice for putting the “diversity truck in reverse-ity” is to simply put your chin on your boss’s shoulder and pay him a compliment. After the compliment involves another stereotype getting the actress into hot water again, the hosts advise that the actress should “out-diverse” the individual who was offended by the stereotype by showing up in a wheelchair and telling him she’s a lesbian. After exclaiming, “Wow, I didn’t know you were a wheelchaired-lesbian” the actress is promoted over her coworker Todd, a seemingly non-diverse male colleague.
Although the skit is entertaining, there are many real life lessons to learn:
- You should not have to be instructed on where to cry in the workplace. If you are suffering such distress over the way you are being treated at work that you find yourself crying, it is a good idea to consult an attorney. During the free consultation, the attorney should be able to tell you if you have a claim. For instance just like in the video, if your boss or coworker acts as if it is not possible for you to receive a promotion because of your race, gender, national original, or disability, and continues to make assumptions about you based on offensive stereotypes regarding your race, gender, national original, or disability you may have a claim for unlawful discrimination based on your membership in a protected class.
- It should go without saying, but never, under any circumstances, should you try to “out-diverse” a co-worker by faking a disability or sexual preference (and sexual orientation is not a protected class in Ohio).
- Decisions about hiring, firing, rate of pay, or job assignments should be made on a neutral basis. Federal laws, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers “to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” Similarly, Ohio law contained in §4112.02 prohibits, “any employer, because of the race, color, religion, sex, military status, national origin, disability, age, or ancestry of any person, to discharge without just cause, to refuse to hire, or otherwise to discriminate against that person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, or any matter directly or indirectly related to employment.
You may not be able to “put the diversity truck in reverse-ity.” If you have experienced harmful, offensive, or harassing behavior based on your race, gender, national origin or disability, and subsequently made complaints about the incident or participated in an investigation into the incident, you have engaged in protected activity. If you are treated unfavorably or terminated after you have made similar complaints or participated in an investigation you may have a separate claim for retaliation, and the best thing to do is to seek legal counsel.
If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have been wrongfully fired or terminated;” or “I have been discriminated against based on my …” race, national origin, gender, age, religion or disability; or even think that you might need an employment lawyer, then it would be best to call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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