Best Ohio Employment Discrimination Attorney Answer: Can my boss fire be after I’ve had children? Can I ask for an accommodation because I am a care giver? Can my employer fired me because I had to pick my kids up from school? If I had to stay home with a sick child, can I be fired?
Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, discriminating against pregnant women is an expressly unlawful form of gender discrimination. Additionally, the Ohio Fair Employment Practice Law (Ohio R.C. § 4112.01et seq.) prohibits employers from engaging in any discrimination against a woman based on her pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition or illness. The protections provided to pregnant mothers is one that the employment attorneys at the Spitz Law Firm have vigorously defended, and continue to bring to the public’s attention through litigation and publishing of this blog. ( See Lawyer: Can I Be Sent Home From Work Because I’m Pregnant?; Pregnancy Discrimination: Still Happening, Still Unlawful; How Much Is My Pregnancy Discrimination Case Worth?;Can I Sue If I Was Fired For Being Pregnant?; Employment Law: I’m Pregnant. What Are My Rights At Work?; and Can My Boss Discriminate Against Me When I Get Pregnant?)
However, what happens months or years after you’ve given birth and now you are facing discrimination from your employer because you are a primary caregiver who has to leave work to pick up your child from daycare or school? The answer, at least for now, is sadly not much. In the state of Ohio the primary care giver of a child or disabled adult is not, without more, automatically the member of a protected class that is afforded any special consideration or right to reasonable accommodation.
There are laws, both state and federal, that protect employees from discrimination based upon their race/color, national origin, gender/sex, religion, and or military status. However, those facing family responsibility discrimination have not been afforded the same protections. In fact, to date the only location in the entire state of Ohio that has any express protection afforded to a person with primary care giver responsibilities is Xenia, Ohio which passed local rules § § 6401, 620.01-99 which makes it illegal to discharge without cause, refuse to hire, or to otherwise discriminate against, that person based upon their race, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, disability, age or ancestry.
To date, only seven states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws that provide express protections to family care givers that exceed the already established federal protection. Although certainly not a complete list approximately 70 local law have been enacted in cities in 22 different states prohibiting discrimination against employees with family care giving responsibilities.
Recently that list was increased by one when New York City had its own New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) go into effect. The newly enacted NYCHRL defines caregiver as “a person who provides direct and ongoing care for a minor child or a care recipient.” The NYCHRL forbids employment discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, gender, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, alienage, and citizenship status. As of May 4, 2016 the law also prohibits employment discrimination against an employee caring for a minor children or an individual with a disability. Covered relatives under the amendment include children (adopted, biological or foster), spouses, domestic partners, parents, siblings, grandchildren, grandparents, children or parents of the caregiver’s spouse or domestic partner, or any individuals in a familial relationship with the caregiver, as defined by the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
It should be noted that in many cases, discrimination against child or elder care givers may be covered under different areas of the currently existing law, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA“). Treating an individually differently than their male counterpart or differently than their female counterpart is already protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. However, in most situations in the state of Ohio, an employer can feel free to terminate an employee whose family obligations interferes with his or her employment obligations, so long as they do so evenly across all races and genders. The addition of a major American city, such as New York City, to the list of places enacting express protections for child and elder care givers may force state and federal governments to reconsider the importance of protections that are now sorely lacking.
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. The Spitz Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.
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