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News to Catch You Up

Here are just a few developments in the Civil Rights Section since our last issue:
Kudos: Marilyn Tobocman, principal assistant attorney general in the Ohio Attorney General’s Cleveland Office, earned Crain’s Cleveland Business and In-House Government Counsel Award in November for her years of service in fighting for the rights of all Ohioans.

On the Training Front: The Civil Rights Section provided comprehensive equal employment opportunity training on issues ranging from pregnancy to age discrimination as part of the Department of Administrative Services’ annual EEO Academy. Two other recent trainings: to the International Right of Way Association on the intersection of fair housing laws and property rights and to job seekers over 55 on what can and can’t be asked during job interviews.
If your organization is interested in scheduling a training presentation on fair housing or employment, call us at 614-466-7900.
On the Litigation Front: The Civil Rights Section won an appellate decision in Ohio Civ. Rights Comm. v. Myers, 2014-Ohio-144, when we convinced the court to overturn a decision holding that neighbor on neighbor harassment is not a stand-alone cause of action under Ohio’s fair housing laws.
The section also prevailed in the administrative cases of Sims v. Westside Family Practice, Commission Complaint 08-EMP-COL-34472, involving a medical practice that fired its medical assistant after finding out she was pregnant, and Neer v. Feet First Inc., Commission Complaint 06-EMP-DAY-17651, involving a podiatrist who fired his receptionist after she complained about pregnancy discrimination. In FHRC v. Bien, Commission Complaint 10-HOU-CLE-40132, the section won in a case in which a landlord twice denied assistance animals when tested by a fair housing group.
For copies of any of these administrative decisions, call the Civil Rights Section at 614-466-7900.
And some news from the Ohio Civil Rights Commission: 
Welcome Aboard: The commission welcomed member Lori Barreras in October. Commissioner Barreras joins former Sen. Tom Roberts, Stephanie Mercado, William Patmon III, and Chairman Leonard Hubert.
Kudos: The Ohio State University recently recognized G. Michael Payton, the commission’s executive director, with its Alumni in Government Distinguished Service Award.
Involving Youth: The commission’s Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Writing and Multimedia Contest drew more than 1,000 entries from students around the state. The winners’ work appears on the commission’s website.