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Making an Employment Discrimination Claim.
Trying to decide how to report a discrimination claim seems complex, and confusing.

Best Ohio
Employment Lawyer
Response: How do I file an EEOC claim against
my company for discrimination? Where do I find an attorney to file a
discrimination claim against my job? Can I sue for sexual harassment and religious
discrimination at the same time?

There are multiple avenues someone can pursue if they have
faced discrimination in their workplace. In order to navigate this legal
labyrinth, the best thing a person can do is call the right attorney. As our employment discrimination
lawyers explore below, the when and where of filing an employment
discrimination
claim can get complicated in a hurry. It is always best to
have an experienced law firm there to help you determine how best to handle
your claim. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the avenues that
are open to someone filling an employment discrimination claim.

One of the most critical avenues available to Ohio employees
is the option to file a claim for employment discrimination under state law. Under
state law, Ohio Revised Code §
4112.01
, it is illegal to discriminate against an employee based on that
employee’s racenational
origin
gender, age, religion,
or disability.
Claims brought solely under Ohio
Revised Code § 4112.01
are brought in state court and must follow a
specific set of rules and procedures.

Claims of employment discrimination may also be brought
under federal law. As our employment
law lawyers
 regularly blog about, Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964
 is a federal law that makes in against the law for
employers with 15 or more employees to discriminate against employees or
applicants based on their sex/gender, race, color, national origin, and
religion. The Americans
with Disabilities Act
 (“ADA”) adds
similar protection for employees with a disability.
Further, the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act
 (“ADEA”)
protects employees and applicants who are over the age of 40 from
discrimination based on their age. Claims brought solely under Title VII can be
brought in state or federal court, but an employer can always move the claim to
federal court.

Workers over 40 should not face work place discrimination for their age.

(Older Americans account for about 1 out of every 5 American Workers)

In order to file a
lawsuit in federal court, an employee is required to first file a charge with
the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
(“EEOC”).
The EEOC then has 180 days to investigate the claim of employment
discrimination before the employee can request a right to sue in federal court.
Of course, bringing a complaint to the EEOC has its own challenges and
pitfalls. (See Top
Employment Law Attorney: Do Not File With The EEOC Without Doing This First
File
With The EEOC Or Get A Lawyer? Call The Right Attorney
Should
I Get A Lawyer To Help Me File An EEOC Charge?
; How
Do I File An Employment Discrimination Charge With The EEOC? I Need The Best
Race Discrimination Attorney And Top Gender Discrimination Lawyer In Ohio To
Help With My EEOC Charge!
, and Should
I File With The EEOC On My Own? Call The Right Attorney
.

Typically, a plaintiff must wait until the EEOC has
concluded their investigation before they can file their lawsuit in federal
court. In the legal field, we call this “exhausting administrative
remedies.” However, in Fort Bend
County, Texas v. Davis
, the United States Supreme Court clarified
that it is not a death sentence to an employee’s claim if an employee fails to
exhaust their administrative remedies with the EEOC if the employer does not
file a timely objection.

On June 3, 2019, the United States Supreme Court unanimously
ruled that Title VII’s requirement that an employee file a charge with the EEOC
is not a jurisdictional requirement for federal courts. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
(aka the Notorious
RBG
) delivered the unanimous decision of the Court. The Supreme Court’s decision
acknowledged that while Title VII requires an employee who has experienced
discrimination to first file a charge with the EEOC, this prerequisite, of
filling a charge is not a jurisdictional requirement that an employer can use
to get the case thrown out at any stage of a proceeding. Instead, the
requirement that an employee first file a charge with the EEOC is considered a
claim-processing rule. Therefore, if the employer wants to defeat the
employee’s claim, based on the employee’s failure to exhaust their
administrative remedies, they must object at the right time.

In Fort Bend, the employee looking to pursue a claim,
Lois M. Davis, filed her charge of discrimination within the legally required
time period. In her initial charge of discrimination, Davis claimed that she
faced retaliation in the workplace. (See Can
I Be Fired If My Father Reported Race Discrimination At My Job?
;
Fired
In Retaliation For Reporting Sex Harassment?
). Davis
claimed that after she reported her supervisor’s friend for sexual harassment,
her supervisor began limiting Davis’s responsibilities at work. Apparently,
after Davis made an internal complaint of sexual
harassment
against her supervisor’s friend, the friend resigned following
an investigation into the sexual harassment complaint.

Reporting Sexual Harassment to manager.

(Have you reported discrimination work, only to be retaliated against? We help people like you stand up to employers every day.)

While Davis’ initial charge of discrimination and sex
harassment was pending with the EEOC, Davis’ supervisor ordered her to report
to work on a Sunday. Davis calmly told her supervisor that she would not be
able to come in on Sunday because of her religion and that she had a commitment
to her church. Davis even offered to find another employee to replace her.
Davis’ boss refused to accommodate Davis’s religious accommodation request and
told her that if she did not show up to work on Sunday, she would be fired.
(see Can
My Job Force A Haircut Against My Religion?
; How
Do I Get A Religious Accommodation At Work?
; Can
I Get Off Work As A Religious Accommodation?
).

Not surprisingly, Davis went to church instead of work, and
her manager followed up on his threat and promptly fired her. Our employment
attorneys call this a wrongful
termination
. After she was wrongfully fired, Davis attempted to supplement the
first charge she filed with the EEOC. In her supplement, Davis attempted to add
a charge of discrimination based on religion.

Davis’ filed her lawsuit in January of 2012. In her suit,
Davis included claims of discrimination based upon religion and retaliation for
reporting sexual harassment. Davis also included some state law claims, which
were not directly related to the claim that was appealed to the Supreme Court.
Fort Bend won the first round of litigation, getting summary judgment on all of
Davis’ claims. In September 2013, Fifth Circuit
Court of Appeal
affirmed as Davis’ claims of retaliation for reporting
sexual harassment but reversed the lower court’s decision regarding her
religion-based discrimination claim. Fort Bend attempted to appeal the Fifth
Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court. However, this appeal was denied in
2015. After the case went back to the District Court, Fort Bend filed a motion
to dismiss the religious discrimination claim, arguing that the District Court did
not have jurisdiction over the claim because the claim of religious
discrimination had not been fully investigated by the EEOC. The District Court
agreed with Fort Bend, holding that the requirement that an employee files a
charge with the EEOC had to be met for a federal court to have jurisdiction
over a case. Therefore, the employer could get the case dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction at any time. The Fifth Circuit disagreed with the District Court,
and the case was appealed again to the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court upholds employees rights after being discriminated against at work.

After hearing the case, the Supreme Court affirmed the
holding of the Fifth Circuit. In their decision, the United States Supreme
Court acknowledged that the term “jurisdiction” has many meanings. However, the
Supreme Court also recognized that they have historically made efforts to limit
the meaning of “jurisdiction” to the more narrow definition of “classes of case
a court may entertain (subject matter jurisdiction) and the person over whom
the court may exercise adjudicatory authority (personal jurisdiction).” The
Supreme Court went on to distinguish jurisdiction under Title VII from other
examples, where Congress expressly granted jurisdiction, like when parties are
citizens of two different states, where a party may move to dismiss the case
for lack of jurisdiction at any time. Instead, the Supreme Court held that
Title VII’s charge-filing requirement is not a jurisdictional requirement but
only a claim-processing rule that must be met for a court to grant relief. The
Supreme Court reasoned that, because the requirement that an employee file an
EEOC charge was only a claim-processing rule, it did not affect a federal
court’s ability to assert jurisdiction over a claim.

Further, although an employee must file a claim with the EEOC
before filing a claim in federal court, an employer seeking to dismiss the
claim based on failure to exhaust administrative remedies must object at the
right time or forfeit the objection. In Fort Bend, the employer only
raised the issue after the case had already gone to the Fifth Circuit and been
remanded. Therefore, the employer had waived its right to dismiss the case for
the employee’s failure to exhaust their administrative remedies.

As you can see, pursuing a claim for employment
discrimination in federal court can be a complicated endeavor. To make matters
more complicated, an employee always faces the question of if their claims
should be brought under state or federal law. Of course, there is an easy way
to simplify these issues, call the
right attorney
.

If you are searching “I need a lawyer because I have
been wrongfully
fired or terminated
;” or “I have been discriminated against or harassed
based on my” racenational
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. Call our office at 866-797-6040. The Spitz Law Firm and its attorneys are experienced and dedicated to
protecting employees’ rights and solving employment disputes.

Disclaimer:

This employment law website is an
advertisement. The materials available at the top of this page and at this
employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the
purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking, “How do I sue if my
boss is sexually harassing me”, “What should I do if my boss grabs my ass,” “My
boss discriminated against me because I’m Jewish” or “I was fired for reporting
discrimination to HR”, it would be best for to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to any
particular employment law issue or problem. 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 The Spitz Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.