Q: What has happened in Ohio to address LGBTQ rights since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision legalizing gay marriage?
A: Since the 2015 court decision, lawmakers and advocacy groups have shifted their focus to issues of LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace and other venues. Ohio currently has no state law prohibiting work place discrimination based on LGBTQ status, but Ohio House Bill 160, introduced in March 2017, proposes to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
Q: What must Ohio employers do about LGBTQ workplace rights?
A: Neither the Ohio nor federal discrimination laws have been conclusively established by the legislature or the courts to clearly and unequivocally prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on LGBTQ status. However, employers should be aware of potential liabilities under state and federal laws. For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, which is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
An Ohio employer with four or more employees is subject to the Ohio Fair Employment Practices Act (OFEPA). Ohio employers with 15 or more employees are subject to both Title VII and the OFEPA. It is unclear whether mandates related to LGBTQ rights are enforceable, but the landscape of LBGTQ rights is constantly changing. Employers should stay abreast of these changes to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
Q: Do any Ohio cities or counties provide LGBTQ rights protection?
A: A growing number of local municipalities in Ohio have passed…
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