Discrimination

Discrimination cases include age, race, gender, disability, and national origin claims. The employment statute in Ohio parallels a federal statute; it holds that "It shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice . . . [f]or any employer, because of the race, color, religion, sex, 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." R.C. 4112.02(A). Retaliation is also broadly prohibited under the statutes. So long as a plaintiff believes in good faith, he or she has the right to complain of discrimination or discrimination rights, and is protected against retaliation. Booker v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co., Inc., 879 F.2d 1304 (6th Cir.1989).

The focus in many employment discrimination cases, absent direct evidence, is on the motivations concerning an adverse action to a member of a protected class. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (1973), 411 U.S. 792, 802. Examination is often placed on "comparable non protected person(s)" Mitchell v. Toledo Hosp., 964 F.2d 577, 582 (6th Cir.1992), yet the function of the McDonnell Douglas prima facie test is to allow a plaintiff to raise an inference of discriminatory intent. "A plaintiff can demonstrate pretext by showing that the proffered reason (1) has no basis in fact, (2) did not actually motivate the defendant's challenged conduct, or (3) was insufficient to warrant the challenged conduct." Dews v. A.B. Dick Co., 231 F.3d 1016, 1021 (6th Cir.2000).

The remedies available to a plaintiff in claiming employment discrimination are much broader than the limited remedies of the past. See Rice v. CertainTeed Corp. (1999), 84 Ohio St.3d 417, 419, 704 N.E.2d 1217, 1219 (finding that the term "damages" in R.C. 4112.99 is "an inclusive term embracing the panoply of legally recognized pecuniary relief" such as compensatory and punitive damages).