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The citations provided here are meant to provide a quick, easily accessible statement of the law at the time of the decision of the court. The law, however, changes. You should not rely on these citations as the current statement of the law; rather, they are intended to provide a path for your legal research.

This information is provided for educational and guidance purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice nor to substitute the need for legal counsel. Entire contents Copyright 2005. Martin James O'Connell.

Employment Law in Ohio - Citations to Cases and Statutes

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. The ADA covers employers with 15 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations. The ADA's nondiscrimination standards also apply to federal sector employees under section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended, and its implementing rules.

Link to ADA

ADA Definition:"Disability"

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), "[d]isability means, with respect to an individual, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; a record of such an impairment; or being regarded as having such an impairment." 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2 (g) (2003). Ohio defines "disability" in an identical manner. Ohio Rev. Code § 4112.01(A)(13).

Ohio Definition: "Disability"

The definition of disability under Ohio law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12102, are virtually identical. Moreover, "[t]he essential elements of a claim brought under the ADA and the Ohio handicap discrimination statute are the same. Therefore, the case law regarding claims brought under the ADA applies equally to claims brought under the Ohio Statute." Hoffman v. Fidelity Brokerage Servs., Inc. 959 F. Supp. 452, 457 n. 1 (S.D. Ohio 1997).

ADA Definition: "Discriminate"

The ADA definition of the term 'discriminate' includes 'not making reasonable accommodations to the known physical or mental limitations of an otherwise qualified individual with a disability who is an applicant or an employee, unless such covered entity can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of the business of the covered entity.' 42 U.S.C. at § 12112(b)(5).

ADA Definition: "Major life activities"

"'Major life activities' refers to those activities that are of central importance to daily life." Toyota Motor Manufacturing v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184, Syllabus (2002). Under § 4112.01(A)(13), "major life activities" include the functions of caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

ADA Definition: "Otherwise Qualified"

In order for the claim to succeed plaintiff must prove that she is "otherwise qualified" for the job. Smith v. Ameritech, 129 F.3d 857, 866 (6th Cir. 1997). "In the employment context, an otherwise qualified person is one who can perform 'the essential functions' of the job in question." Ohio Civ. Rights Comm. v. Case W. Res. Univ., 76 Ohio St.3d 168, 176 (1996) citing School Bd. of Nassau Cty. v. Arline 480 U.S. 273 (1987).

Legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for the action taken by the employer may include, but are not limited to, the inability of the employee to safely and substantially perform, with reasonable accommodations, the essential functions of the job in question. Hood v. Diamond Prod., Inc., 74 Ohio St. 3d 298, 302 (1996).

ADA Definition: "Substantially Limits"

Because Chapter 4112 does not define "substantially limits," Ohio courts rely on federal guidance. Pflanz v. Cincinnati, 149 Ohio App.3d 743, 753 (Ohio Ct. App. 1st 2002).

Under the ADA regulations, "substantially limits" means the following:

(i) Unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform; or

(ii) Significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform the same major life activity.

ADA Definition: "Substantially Limits" with respect to "Working"

"'Substantially' in the phrase 'substantially limits' suggests 'considerable' or 'to a large degree,' and thus clearly precludes impairments that interfere only in a minor way with performing manual tasks." Toyota, 534 U.S. 184, Syllabus. In the Sixth Circuit, a physical condition or limitation is not considered substantial "unless it places an individual so far outside the norm as to make it impossible or unusually difficult for that person to perform work that could be done by most other people." Clark v. Whirlpool Corp., 252 F. Supp. 2d 528, 534 (N.D. Ohio 2003) quoting Szalay v. Yellow Freight Sys., 998 F. Supp. 799, 802 (N.D. Ohio 1996).

The term substantially limits means significantly restricted in the ability to perform either a class of jobs or a broad range of jobs in various classes as compared to the average person having comparable training, skills and abilities. The inability to perform a single, particular job does not constitute a substantial limitation in the major life activity of working. 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2 (j)(3)(i). (Emphasis added).

To be substantially limited in the major life activity of working, then, one must be precluded from more than one type of job, a specialized job, or a particular job of choice. If jobs utilizing an individual's skills (but perhaps not his or her unique talents) are available, one is not precluded from a substantial class of jobs. Similarly, if a host of different types of jobs are available, one is not precluded from a broad range of jobs. (Emphasis added). Sutton v. United Airlines, 527 U.S. 471 (1999).

Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age.

Link to ADEA

Constructive Discharge

"Before a claim of constructive discharge can be submitted to the jury, the plaintiff must prove that her working conditions were so difficult or unpleasant that a reasonable person would have felt compelled to resign." Neal v. Hamilton Cty., 87 Ohio App. 3d 670, 676 (Ohio Ct. App. 1st 1993); accord Mauzy v. Kelly Services, Inc., 75 Ohio St.3d 578 (1996). This is an objective test in which "courts seek to determine whether the cumulative effect of the employer's actions would make a reasonable person believe that termination was imminent. . . . [A] myriad of factors are considered, including reductions in sales territory, poor performance evaluations, criticism in front of coemployees, inquiries about retirement intentions, and expressions of a preference for employees outside the protected group." Id. at 589. The employee's perception of forced resignation is viewed objectively without consideration of undue sensitivities. Wilson v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., 1932 F.2d 510, 515 (6th Cir. 1991).

When an employer presents an employee with "legitimate options for continued employment," that generally "precludes a finding of constructive discharge." Therefore, when an "employer gives an employee a realistic option of improving his or her situation, and the work environment is not otherwise unreasonably intolerable, the employee cannot claim that he or she was forced to retire."

Hillman v. Safeco Insurance Co., 190 F. Supp. 2d 1029, 1036-1037 (N.D. Ohio 2002) citing Vannoy v. OCSEA Local 11, 36 F. Supp. 2d 1018 (S.D. Ohio 1999).

Constructive discharge does qualify as an adverse employment action. See Hoon v. Superior Tool Co. (Jan. 24, 2002), 8th Dist. No. 79821; Policastro v. Northwest Airlines, Inc. (C.A.6, 2002), 297 F.3d 535, 539.

Discrimination - Age

"[A]bsent direct evidence of age discrimination, in order to establish a prima facie case of a violation of R.C. 4101.17 in an employment discharge action, a plaintiff-employee must demonstrate (1) that he or she was a member of the statutorily protected class, (2) that he or she was discharged, (3) that he or she was qualified for the position, and (4) that he or she was replaced by, or that the discharge permitted the retention of, a person not belonging to the protected class. Under this modified standard, it should be abundantly clear that direct evidence of age discrimination will be sufficient to establish a prima facie case." Kohmescher v. Kroger Co. (1991), 61 Ohio St.3d 501, 505.

See also:

In order to establish a prima facie case in an age discrimination action, a plaintiff-employee must demonstrate that he or she "(1) was a member of the statutorily protected class, (2) was discharged, (3) was qualified for the position, and (4) was replaced by, or the discharge permitted the retention of, a person of substantially younger age." Coryell v. Bank One Trust Co. N.A., 101 Ohio St.3d 175, 180, 2004-Ohio-723 ¶ 20.(fn1)

Defendant-employer may then overcome the presumption inherent in the prima facie case by propounding a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for plaintiff's discharge. Finally, plaintiff must be allowed to show that the rationale set forth by defendant was only a pretext for unlawful discrimination.

Discrimination - Age - Ohio Statutes

An action for age discrimination regarding employment can be maintained under three different statutes within R.C. Chapter 4112. R.C. 4112.02 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age, and specifies that a civil action to "enforce the individual's rights" relative to such discrimination must be instituted within 180 days of the alleged unlawful discriminatory practice. See 4112.02(N).

R.C. 4112.14, previously codified at R.C. 4101.17, provides a remedy for age-based discrimination in the hiring and termination of employees. Although it does not include a limitations period, the Ohio Supreme Court has determined that the six-year limitations period of R.C. 2305.07 applied to claims based upon R.C. 4101.17. See Morris v. Kaiser Engineers, Inc. (1984), 14 Ohio St.3d 45, paragraph two of the syllabus; Ferraro v. B.F. Goodrich Co. 149 Ohio App.3d 301, 2002-Ohio-4398 (the statute of limitations period applicable to R.C. 4112.14 age discrimination claims is six years).

(It has been held that a jury demand is unavailable under R.C. 4112.14 because an action for age discrimination did not exist at common law; thus, there is no right to a jury trial. Hoops v. United Telephone Company of Ohio (1990), 50 Ohio St.3d 97.

R.C. 4112.99 provides an independent cause of action for "damages, injunctive relief or any other appropriate relief" to remedy any form of discrimination identified in R.C. Chapter 4112. Ferraro, supra, citing Elek v. Huntington Natl. Bank (1991), 60 Ohio St.3d 135. The applicable limitations period under this section has been held to be six years. See Cosgrove v. Williamsburg of Cincinnati Mgt. Co., Inc. (1993), 70 Ohio St.3d 281.

Discrimination - Applicable Law

"[F]ederal case law interpreting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 2000(e) et seq., Title 42, U.S. Code, is generally applicable to cases involving alleged violations of R.C. Chapter 4112." Plumbers & Steamfitters Commt. v. Ohio Civil Rights Comm. (1981), 66 Ohio St.2d 192 196.

Discrimination - Direct Evidence, Circumstantial Evidence

Under the direct method of proving discrimination, a plaintiff may present circumstantial, statistical, and direct evidence from which the finder of fact could conclude that purposeful and unlawful discrimination occurred. Kohmescher v. Kroger Co. (1991), 61 Ohio St.3d 501; U.S. Postal Service Bd. of Governors v. Aikens (1983), 460 U.S. 711, 717, 103 S.Ct. 1478.

Direct evidence of discrimination is "that evidence which, if believed, requires the conclusion that unlawful discrimination was at least a motivating factor in the employer's actions." Jacklyn v. Schering-Plough Healthcare Prods. Sales Corp., 176 F.3d 921, 926 (6th Cir. 1999). Circumstantial evidence, on the other hand, is proof that does not on its face establish discriminatory animus, but does allow a factfinder to draw a reasonable inference that discrimination occurred.

Discrimination - Disability - Failure to Accommodate

In order for a plaintiff to prevail on an allegation of handicap discrimination based on failure to accommodate, he must first establish a prima facie case by showing that: (1) he is an individual with a handicap as defined in 29 C.F.R. § 1614.203 (a)(1); (2) he is qualified for the position as discussed in 29 U.S.C. § 1614.203(a)(6); (3) the agency was aware of his disability; (4) an accommodation was needed, i.e., a causal relationship existed between the disability and the request for accommodation; and (5) the agency failed to provide the necessary accommodation. Gaines v. Runyon, 107 F.3d 1171, 1175 (6th Cir. 1997)

An employer is not required to give the best accommodation or even the accommodation requested by the employee as long as the accommodation provided is reasonable. Zimmerman v. General Motors, Delphi Energy & Engine Management System Div., 959 F. Supp. 1393 (D. Kan. 1997); see also Keever v. City of Middletown, 145 F.3d 809, 813 (6th Cir. 1998) quoting Miranda v. Wisconsin Power & Light Company, 91 F.3d 1011, 1016 (7th Cir. 1996) (holding "the ADA does not obligate an employer to provide a disabled employee every accommodation on his wish list."). An accommodation is reasonable when it assists the disabled employee perform the essential functions of his or her job. See e.g. 29 C.F.R. § 1630.2(o)(ii).

Discrimination - Disability - Prima Facie Case

A plaintiff can establish a prima facie case of handicap discrimination only if she can establish: (1) she is handicapped; (2) her employer took an adverse action against her because of her handicap; and (3) that the person, though handicapped, can safely and substantially perform the essential functions of the job in question. Columbus Civ. Serv. Comm. v. McGlone, 82 Ohio St.3d 569, 571 (1998).

"For his ADA claim to succeed, plaintiff must prove that (1) he has a disability; (2) that he is 'otherwise qualified' for the job; and (3) that defendants either refused to make a reasonable accommodation for his disability or made an adverse employment decision regarding him solely because of his disability." Smith v. Ameritech, 129 F.3d 857, 866 (6th Cir. 1997).

Discrimination - Disability - To State A Claim

In Ohio, it is an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer to discriminate against an employee with respect to the terms and conditions of employment because of their disability. Ohio Rev. Code § 4112.02. To state a claim of disability discrimination under the ADA, a party must establish that "(1) he is an individual with a disability, (2) he is 'otherwise qualified' to perform the job requirements, with or without reasonable accommodation, and (3) he was discharged solely by reason of his handicap." Monette v. Elec. Data Sys. Corp., 90 F.3d 1173, 1185 (6th Cir. 1996).

Discrimination - Discriminatory Remarks

There is a four-part test to determine whether a remark is actionable race or sex discrimination: (1) was the comment made by a decision maker or an agent in the scope of employment; (2) was the comment related to the decision-making process; (3) was the comment an isolated remark; (4) was the comment in proximity to the alleged discriminatory act." Cooley v. Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (6th Cir. 1994), 25 F.3d 1325, 1330.

Discrimination - Disparate Impact and Disparate Treatment

"There are different types of discrimination in employment settings: disparate treatment (intentional discriminatory treatment of an employee) and disparate impact (where a facially neutral employment policy is applied in a discriminatory fashion, without regard to the employers's intention)." Ohio Civ. Rights Comm. V. Kent State Univ. (1998) 129 Ohio App. 3d 231, fn. 10.

In a disparate treatment case, liability depends on whether the protected trait &endash; here, age &endash; actually motivated the employer's decision. Hazen Paper Co. v. Biggins, 507 U.S. 604, 610 (1993). The employer may have relied on a facially discriminatory policy requiring adverse treatment of older employees or may have been motivated by age to discriminate against an individual on an ad hoc basis &endash; "[w]hatever the employer's decision making process, a disparate treatment claim cannot succeed unless the employee's protected trait actually played a role in that process and had a determinative influence on the outcome." Id. Proof of discriminatory motive is thus critical to the success of a plaintiff's discriminatory treatment claim. Id. In contrast, in a disparate impact case, liability may result without a demonstration of discriminatory motive. Id. at 609.

Discrimination - Employment - General - McDonnell Douglas Framework

In a case alleging employment discrimination, the plaintiff bears the initial burden of either presenting direct evidence of discrimination, or of establishing a prima facie case of discrimination indirectly by following the standard set forth in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green (1973), 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817; and Byrnes v. LCI Communication Holdings Co. (1996), 77 Ohio St.3d 125. Peters v. Ohio Dept. of Nat. Resources, Franklin App. No. 03AP-350, 2003-Ohio-5895.

In order to establish a prima facie case, the plaintiff must demonstrate that: (1) she is a member of a protected class; (2) that she suffered an adverse employment action; (3) that she was qualified for the position; and (4) either that she was replaced by someone outside the protected class or that a comparable, non-protected person was treated more favorably. See, e.g., Samadder v. DMF of Ohio, Inc., 154 Ohio App.3d 770, 2003-Ohio-5340, at ¶35; Ferguson v. Lear Corp., 155 Ohio App.3d 677, 2003-Ohio-7261, at ¶17, citing Brewer v. Cleveland Bd. of Edn. (1997), 122 Ohio App.3d 378, 385; Plumbers & Steamfitters Joint Apprenticeship Commt. v. Ohio Civ. Rights Comm. (1981), 66 Ohio St.2d 192, 197.

Once the plaintiff establishes a prima facie case, the burden shifts to the employer to set forth a non-discriminatory reason for the discharge. If the employer does so, the burden then shifts back to the plaintiff to demonstrate, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the legitimate, non-discriminatory reason was merely a pretext for discrimination. Id.

Discrimination - Hostile or abusive work environment

The plaintiff must show that the harassing conduct was "sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of [the victim's] employment and create an abusive working environment." quoting Henson, 682 F.2d at 904.

``In Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc. (1993), 510 U.S. 17, 21-22, 114 S.Ct. 367, 370, 126 L.Ed.2d 295, 302, the court further explained:

`` `Conduct that is not severe or pervasive enough to create an objectively hostile or abusive work environment is beyond Title VII's purview. Likewise, if the victim does not subjectively perceive the environment to be abusive, the conduct has not actually altered the conditions of the victim's employment, and there is no Title VII violation.'

``However, the conduct need not be psychologically injurious to be actionable. `A discriminatorily abusive work environment, even one that does not seriously affect employees' psychological well-being, can and often will detract from employees' job performance, discourage employees from remaining on the job, or keep them from advancing in their careers. Moreover, even without regard to these tangible effects, the very fact that discriminatory conduct was so severe or pervasive that it created a work environment abusive to employees because of their race, gender, religion, or national origin offends Title VII's broad rule of workplace equality.' Id., 510 U.S. at 22, 114 S.Ct. at 370-371, 126 L.Ed.2d at 302.

Discrimination - Pregnancy

Marvel Consultants, Inc. v. Ohio Civ. Rights Comm. (1994), 93 Ohio App.3d 838, 841. To prove a prima facie case, the commission had to prove by the preponderance of the evidence that: (1) Pace was pregnant; (2) she was discharged; and (3) she was replaced by a nonpregnant person. See McDonnell Douglas, supra; Frank v. Toledo Hosp. (1992), 84 Ohio App.3d 610, 616, 617 N.E.2d 774, 778.

The evidence was uncontradicted that Pace was pregnant. Denial of maternity leave mandated by Ohio Adm.Code 4112-5-05(G)(6) is, in effect, terminating the employee because of her pregnancy. Frank, supra, 84 Ohio App.3d at 617, 617 N.E.2d at 779. Ohio Adm.Code 4112-5-01(G)(6) says:

"If the employer has no leave policy, childbearing must be considered by the employer to be a justification for leave of absence for a female employee for a reasonable period of time. Following childbirth and upon signifying her intent to return within a reasonable time, such female employee shall be reinstated to her original position or to a position of like status and pay, without loss of service or credit."

Discrimination - Religious Belief - Employment

In evaluating a claim of religious discrimination, a two-step analysis is employed. See Smith v. Pyro Mining Co. (C.A.6, 1987), 827 F.2d 1081, 1085, certiorari denied, 485 U.S. 989, 108 S.Ct. 1293, 99 L.Ed.2d 503. An employee bears the initial burden of establishing a prima facie case of religious discrimination. He meets the burden by showing that he holds a sincere religious belief that conflicts with an employment requirement, he has informed his employer of the conflict, and he was discharged for failing to comply with the conflicting employment requirement. Id. See, also, Equal Employment Opportunity Commn. v. Arlington Transit Mix, Inc. (C.A.6, 1991), 957 F.2d 219, 221.(fn1)

Discrimination - Religious Belief - Public Accommodation

In order to establish a prima-facie case of religious discrimination in a public accommodation case, appellant has to establish the following: ''(a) Complainant has a bona fide religious belief that conflicts with a rule or regulation of a place of public accommodation; (b) Complainant informed the representative of the place of public accommodation of this belief; (c) Complainant was deprived of a benefit for failure to comply with the conflicting rule or regulation.'' In re Chui (Oct. 14, 1986), Ohio Civ. Rights Comm. Complaint No. 4386, at 2, 1986 WL 327228. See, also, Franks v. Natl. Lime & Stone Co. (2000), 138 Ohio App.3d 124, 740 N.E.2d 694. (employment discrimination case).

Once a prima-facie case of religious discrimination is established, the burden then shifts to the business ''to show that it could not accommodate Complainant's religious belief without an undue hardship on the conduct of its business.'' Chui at 3. See, also, Franks at 131, 740 N.E.2d 694.

Undue hardship need only be a de minimis cost to the business. Franks at 132, 740 N.E.2d 694; Ward v. Hengle (1997), 124 Ohio App.3d 396, 404, 706 N.E.2d 392 (employment discrimination cases).

Plaintiff bears the initial burden of establishing a prima facie case of religious discrimination by a preponderance of the evidence. Seale v. Springfield (1996), 113 Ohio App.3d 384, 388, 680 N.E.2d 1286, 1288-1289. The trial court properly granted summary judgment because plaintiff could not establish genuine issues of material fact with regard to the elements of religious discrimination under R.C. Chapter 4112. In order to avoid summary judgment, a plaintiff alleging discrimination must present sufficient evidence not only that he was a member of a protected class, but also that his protected status was the "but for" cause of the alleged adverse employment action. Mitchell v. Toledo Hosp. (C.A.6, 1989), 878 F.2d 382, 1989 WL 67987.

Discrimination - Sex - Harassment

A plaintiff may establish a violation of R.C. 4112.02(A)'s prohibition of discrimination "because of * * * sex" by proving either of two types of sexual harassment: (1) "quid pro quo" harassment, i.e., harassment that is directly linked to the grant or denial of a tangible economic benefit, or (2) "hostile environment" harassment, i.e., harassment that, while not affecting economic benefits, has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile or abusive working environment. Hampel v. Food Ingredients Specialties, Inc. (2000), 89 Ohio St.3d 169, 729 N.E.2d 726, paragraph one of the syllabus.

To establish "constructive discharge," a plaintiff alleging sexual harassment must show that the abusive working environment became so intolerable that her resignation qualified as a fitting response. An employer may assert the Ellerth/Faragher affirmative defense to such a claim unless the plaintiff quit in reasonable response to an adverse action officially changing her employment status or situation, e.g., a humiliating demotion, extreme cut in pay, or transfer to a position in which she would face unbearable working conditions. Pennsylvania State Police v. Suders, 124 S. Ct. 2342 (2004).

Disparate Treatment

"Under a disparate-treatment analysis, the employer treats some people less favorably than others because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Discriminatory motive is necessary to this theory." State v. Wyant (1992), 64 Ohio St.3d 566, 575

A plaintiff can also make out a prima facie disparate treatment case by showing that he or she (1) was a member of the statutorily protected class, (2) was discharged, (3) was qualified for the position, and (4) was replaced by, or the discharge permitted the retention of, a person outside the class. The plaintiff may also show, in addition to the first three elements, that the employee was "treated differently than a similarly situated employee from outside the protected class." Policastro v. Northwest Airlines, Inc. (C.A.6, 2002), 297 F.3d 535, 538, citing Mitchell v. Toledo Hosp. (C.A.6, 1992), 964 F.2d 577, 582 -583.

Equal Pay Act

The Equal Pay Act, which is part of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended (FLSA), and which is administered and enforced by the EEOC, prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who are performing under similar working conditions.


Covered employers (29 CFR 825.104) must grant an eligible employee (29 CFR 825.110) up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. for the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee;
  2. for placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care;
  3. to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or
  4. to take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

FMLA Interference Claim
A plaintiff asserting an FMLA “interferenceclaim must establish the following by a preponderance of the evidence:

(1) she is an eligible employee, as defined in

29 U.S.C. § 2611(2);
(2) Defendant is a covered employer, as defined in 29 U.S.C. § 2611(4);
(3) she was entitled to take leave under the FMLA;
(4) she gave adequate notice of her intention to take leave; and
(5) Defendant denied her FMLA benefits to which she was entitled or otherwise interfered with her FMLA rights.


Hoge, 384 F.3d at 244. See also Harcourt v. Cincinnati Bell Telephone Co.,--F.Supp.2d--, 2005 WL 2000666, at *5 (S.D.Ohio Aug.18, 2005); Sorrell v. Rinker Materials Corp., 395 F.3d 332, 335 (6th Cir.2005); Cavin v. Honda of Am. Mfg., Inc., 346 F.3d 713, 719 (6th Cir.2003). The employer's intent is irrelevant; if Plaintiff can show that she was denied FMLA benefits to which she was entitled, the employer is strictly liable. See Hoge, 384 F.3d at 244.


FMLA Retaliation Claim
“Retaliation” or “discrimination” claims arise under 29 U.S.C. § 2615(a)(2), which prohibits employers from discharging, or discriminating against, employees who oppose unlawful FMLA practices. See Hoge, 384 F.3d at 244.

To survive summary judgment on a FMLA retaliation claim, a plaintiff must first make a prima facie showing of (1) an employee's engagement in activity protected by FMLA; (2) some adverse employment action; and (3) a causal connection between the protected activity and the adverse action. Skrjanc v. Great Lakes Power Service Co., 272 F.3d 309, 314 (6th Cir.2001). With respect to causal connection, the plaintiff must show that an employee's use of FMLA leave was a “significant factor” motivating the retaliatory action. See, e.g.,

Polk v. Yellow Freight System, Inc., 801 F.2d 190, 199 (6th Cir.1986).


FLSA - Fair Labor Standards Act

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor standards affecting full-time and part-time workers in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to a minimum wage of not less than $5.15 an hour. Overtime pay at a rate of not less than one and one-half times their regular rates of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.


FMLA - Interfering With

The law forbids employers from interfering with an employee's use or attempted use of medical leave.

"Interfering with" the exercise of an employee's rights would include, for example, not only refusing to authorize FMLA leave, but discouraging an employee from using such leave. It would also include manipulation by a covered employer to avoid responsibilities under FMLA, for example:

(1) transferring employees from one worksite to another for the purpose of reducing worksites, or to keep worksites, below the 50-employee threshold for employee eligibility under the Act;

(2) changing the essential functions of the job in order to preclude the taking of leave;

(3) reducing hours available to work in order to avoid employee eligibility.

(c) An employer is prohibited from discriminating against employees or prospective employees who have used FMLA leave.

29 C.F.R. § 825.220 (b).

The citations provided here are meant to provide a quick, easily accessible statement of the law at the time of the decision of the court. The law, however, changes. You should not rely on these citations as the current statement of the law; rather, they are intended to provide a path for your legal research.





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