Legislation Robs Women, Minorities and People with Disabilities of Protections Against Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

For Immediate Release:

Contact Information:
Fred Gittes, President
Protecting Ohio’s Employees

Senator Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) introduced SB 268 which protects sexual predators, racists and bigots in the workplace. It overhauls the civil rights laws in Ohio that are in place to protect Ohio employees. The bill would grant immunity to managers and company officers who harass and intentionally discriminate against employees based on sex, disability, age, race, religion, ethnicity or national origin.

Fred Gittes, Protecting Ohio’s Employees, said, “We are very disappointed that legislation that lets sexual harassers “off the hook” from personal liability would be introduced in our state. We should be looking for ways to improve the working environment in Ohio to keep qualified employees here rather than eliminating protections against discrimination and harassment in the workplace.”

Amy Glesius, Chair, Ohio Employment Lawyers Association, said, “We oppose SB 268 because it makes it cheap for employers to discriminate against employees by placing severe limits on what an employee can recover for proven intentional discrimination. The bill does NOT “harmonize” state law with federal law, in fact, it does just the opposite by eliminating protections in state law that dovetail with federal law.”

“The bill sends the wrong message to businesses looking to locate in Ohio, most of which understand that a diverse workplace and equal opportunity are good for the economy,” Gittes added.

The Ohio Employment Lawyers Association and Protecting Ohio’s Employees will be working with other coalition partners to educate all members of the General Assembly and the public about how harmful this legislation is to Ohio workers and Ohio’s economy. Similar legislation has been introduced in the past, but leaders in the House and Senate have not allowed it to move forward.