Best Ohio Employment Discrimination Attorney Answer: What can I do if I feel that I have been discriminated against based on my race or gender? Am I protected from retaliation if I complain to my employer about discrimination? Can I sue the company that I work for wrongful termination if I was fired today for no reason?
The employment discrimination lawyers at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm work harder and stronger to fight for current and former employees who have been confronted with to gender/sex or race/color discrimination in the workplace.
All employees are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and R.C. § 4112.02(A) from being discriminated against or retaliated against by their employers on the basis of gender/sex or race/color. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race/color, religion, gender/sex, national origin, age, disability discrimination while the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA“) and Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA“) provide similar protections based on an employee’s age (over 40) and actual or perceived disability, respectively. Similarly, Ohio R.C. § 4112.02 prohibits discrimination based on gender, race, national origin and religion. Moreover, Title 42 U.S.C. Section 1981 protects the rights of all persons within the United States to “make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, give evidence, and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property….” In safeguarding these rights, § 1981 also protects employees from retaliatory discharge for engaging in lawfully protected conduct.
Recently, the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee denied a employer’s motion for summary judgment (which is a motion to have the employment discrimination lawsuit thrown out before it reaches a jury) filed against a employee who filed claims for race discrimination and retaliation associated with her termination from her employment.
In Coleman v. Shelby County Schools, the employee was hired by Memphis City Schools (“MCS”) as a supervising psychologist in August of 1990, a position she held until her termination on June 30, 2013. From 2004 to June 26, 2013, employee was supervised by Dr. Randall Schnell and asserts that she faced differential treatment from Dr. Schnell, who failed to communicate expectations to employee. In June of 2012, employee consulted with the MCS Office of Equity and Diversity (“OED”) about the disparate treatment, and was advised to speak with Dr. Schnell’s supervisor. Thereafter, Dr. Schnell retaliated against employee through her June 27, 2012 performance evaluation for the 2011–2012 school year. Specifically, the employee’s evaluation did not adequately represent her performance in the areas of Intuitive and Interpersonal Relations and Communication. The employee also asserts that she was not given an opportunity to “review, sign, or respond” to the evaluation before it was sent to Human Resources. employee maintained that prior to her 2011–2012 evaluation she had only received excellent performance evaluations. After receiving the negative performance review, employee then filed two official, written complaints with OED in August of 2012. OED dismissed the employee’s claims on October 15, 2012, finding no evidence of disparate treatment.
Thereafter, in June, 2013, as a result of a merger, the employee was required to apply for a position in the new system. As such, the employee applied for a position as a mental health center manager and for one of the five supervising psychologist positions. Of the seven candidates, she was the only one not rehired. Further, of the seven candidates, Coleman was the only one who had engaged in “protected activity.” On June 26, 2013, the employer terminated Coleman’s employment, attributing the termination to the duplication of positions and the hiring of more qualified candidates. The employee, Coleman, filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) against the employer on June 27, 2013, alleging racial discrimination and retaliation. employee again applied for a supervising psychologist position on July 10, 2013, and was considered for the same position in August or September of 2013, but again was not hired. The employee asserted that in retaliation for her engaging in protected activity, she was terminated and denied re-employment. The employee brought her claims under § 1981 and Tennessee law.
Retaliation claims brought under § 1981 are evaluated under the same evidentiary analysis as Title VII discrimination claims. After examining the evidence in the record, the court found that employee presented sufficient evidence to survive summary judgment:
Plaintiff offers other evidence from which reasonable jury could find that the decision makers may have had knowledge of Plaintiff’s protected activity and retaliated against her on the basis of that knowledge. Dr. Brown–Woods stated that while initial candidate selections were made by the hiring managers, offers of employment were extended by the Human Resources Department. Brown–Woods further stated that as the next best qualified candidate, she sought to hire Plaintiff in July of 2013. However, Human Resources never responded to Dr. Brown–Woods inquiries on how to proceed with hiring Plaintiff. Dr. Shelton–Quinn also stated that she sought to hire Plaintiff in August or September of 2013 but was told by Dr. Brown–Woods that Human Resources decided re-hiring Plaintiff “was not in the District’s best interest.” Dr. Brown–Woods denies making these statements to Dr. Shelton–Quinn. The weighing of contrasting statements and the credibility of those who made the statements are considerations for the trier of fact.
Issues of material fact exist as to whether Human Resources made the ultimate and final decision not to rehire Plaintiff and did so with or without knowledge of Plaintiff’s protected activity.
Furthermore, the court determined that summary judgment was also inappropriate as to employee’s Tennessee law claims.
The moral of the story is that to protect themselves from discrimination claims, employers will often try to cloak their illegal discriminatory acts in lies and excuses. They will try to point to made up legitimate business reasons. However, when you have the right employment discrimination and race discrimination lawyers to help you fight, you have a much better chance of getting you claims to a jury or settled.
If you feel that you are being discriminated based on your race, whatever race that may be, then call the right attorney. Race discrimination includes being harassed, fired, wrongfully terminated, discriminated against, demoted, wrongfully disciplined, and denied wages. When you call the right attorney to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040, you will meet with a race discrimination lawyer from Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm who will help you determine the best way to pursue your legal claims.
The materials available at the top of this race discrimination page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking: “What should I do …”, “I’m being discriminated against …”, “my boss is discriminating against me because …” or “How do I …”, your best option is to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to race discrimination questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, attorney Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.