Best Ohio Race Discrimination Attorney Answer: What laws protect employees against race discrimination against Black employees? I was fired today because my boss is a racist? How do I report race discrimination by my manager at work?
At Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, our employment discrimination lawyers always are working to protect and defend current and former employees who have suffered race or color discrimination in the workplace at the hands of racist managers, supervisors, or bosses. No one should have to put up with being harassed, treated differently or wrongfully fired because of his or her race.
All employees are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Ohio’s R.C. § 4112.02(A) from being discriminated against or retaliated against by their employers on the basis of race. Specifically, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits race discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment. Similarly, Ohio R.C. § 4112.02 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, or ancestry. Also, the Ohio Fair Employment Practice Act, R.C. § 4112.01 et seq., prohibits employment practices that discriminate or retaliate on the basis of race. This law also prohibits an employer from retaliating against any person because that person has opposed an unlawful discriminatory practice, made a complaint, testified, or assisted in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing under this law.
In Kea v. Donahoe, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan dealt with a Title VII lawsuit filed by an African-American United States Postal Service employee who brought race discrimination and retaliation claims against the Postal Service. The interesting tidbit in this case was the Court’s analysis and determination of whether it was an “adverse employment action” when the employee was restricted from using the Postal Service vehicle to do his job. The Court answered this question in the affirmative.
In order to establish a prima facie case of race discrimination, an employee must establish that: (1) the employee is a member of a protected class; (2) an adverse employment action was taken against the employee; and (3) similarly situated employees outside of the employee’s race were treated more favorably. In Kea, the employer agreed that putting Kea on off-duty status was an adverse employment action; however, disputed that the vehicle restriction was an adverse employment action.
The Court first set forth the law regarding this issue: “An adverse employment action has been defined as a “materially adverse change in the terms and conditions of a plaintiff’s employment.” A “mere inconvenience or an alteration of job responsibilities” is not enough to constitute an adverse employment action. De minimis or nominal actions by the employer are not materially adverse. Rather, “[a]t a minimum, the employee must be able to show a quantitative or qualitative change in the terms of the conditions of employment.” Thus, a change in an employee’s working conditions “may constitute a materially adverse employment action, even in the absence of a demotion or pay decrease, so long as the particular circumstances presented give rise to some level of objective intolerability.”
The Court then applied the law to the facts in Kea’s case and determined that his vehicle restriction was indeed an adverse employment action for purposes of his Title VII claim. The Court stated the following:
Viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to Plaintiff, the nature of the VOMA job position is such that VOMAs are constantly out on the road throughout the work day, traveling to and from various cities. VOMAs have always been able to stop and have lunch while driving a Postal Service Vehicle, wherever they may be during the lunch hour. Robinson changed that condition of Plaintiff’s employment when he told Plaintiff that he could no longer stop for lunch when driving a Postal Service vehicle. By not being able to use the postal vehicle he is driving during the course of the day to stop for lunch, Plaintiff would have to interrupt the course of his work, every day, at lunch time—regardless of how far away he is—and return to his home office in order to eat lunch. The Court concludes that a reasonable juror could conclude that change would negatively impact Plaintiff’s ability to perform his job as a VOMA and that condition would be objectively intolerable. The Court finds that Plaintiff has raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the restriction at issue constitute an adverse action for purposes of Plaintiff’s race discrimination claim.
Here, central to the Court’s conclusion that the vehicle restriction was an adverse employment action was its finding that the use of the postal service vehicle was material and in fact very critical to the job duties held by Kea. As such, if the vehicle use was taken away or restricted it was reasonable to believe that such a restriction would effectively prohibit or substantially interfere with Kea’s ability to do his job. This type of interference was sufficient to constitute an adverse employment action for purposes of the Title VII race discrimination claim.
What constitutes an adverse action is not always clear cut. Obviously, wrongful terminations, pay cuts, and demotions are adverse actions. But what other actions by your boss, manager or supervisor will be considered an adverse action? Because every job is different, it becomes a very fact specific issue. Moreover, even if the facts are exactly the same, which never happens, different courts may decide the issue differently. For this reason, it is best that employees that consult with a qualified and experienced employment discrimination lawyer as soon as there is even a thought that racial discrimination may being going on at work.
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.