How to Respond to a Charge of Discrimination
The OCRC is a neutral party charged with the duty and responsibility of enforcing Ohio's Laws Against Discrimination. When an investigation is initiated, the OCRC seeks to obtain factual evidence from all parties to determine whether there is merit to the allegation of discrimination.
When a charge of discrimination is filed, the Respondent will receive notification via U.S. Mail that a charge has been filed. This correspondence will include:
- a copy of the charge affidavit,
- contact information for the investigator assigned to the case,
- notice of the OCRC's Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program (also referred to as mediation) along with a form that allows the Respondent to provide a written declaration of the decision to participate in this option.
ADR is voluntary and, if both parties agree to participate, one of our capable mediators will schedule and facilitate mediation. If participation in ADR is not agreed to by both parties, the case will be returned to the investigator and the Respondent will be required to provide a written position statement to include all relevant information to support their position.
The Position Statement
During an investigation, the Respondent is afforded an opportunity to present its position by responding to each allegation listed in the charge affidavit and presenting information (i.e. e-mails, time sheets, documents from HR files, notarized statements, etc.) to support the position. For example, if the allegation involves a discipline due to an attendance policy violation, the Respondent should explain the infraction in writing and submit the attendance policy along with relevant time reporting records as attachments to the position statement. Providing a full, detailed response to the allegations listed in charge affidavit will allow a thorough and efficient investigation to take place.
Comparable Documentation, Investigative Techniques, and Additional Requests for Information:
Ohio law [R.C. 4112.04 (B)] authorizes the Commission to gather information during its investigations. In an effort to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the facts, investigators may make requests for documentation or information of similarly situated, or comparable individuals and/or the opportunity to visit the Respondent's place of business in order to interview witnesses, review documents, examine the physical facility, or gather additional relevant information. Responding to requests for information or on-site visits in a timely manner will allow the Investigator to complete the investigation efficiently and promptly.