Ohio is a tough place to do employment law! Being one of the dreaded “at will” states, an employer can pretty much rid themselves of an employee without much cause. No reason need be given. What cannot be given is an illegal or unconstitutional reason. There is tremendous statutory leeway provided to Ohio employers to follow their business models.
As difficult as it is to pursue a labor or employment law civil litigation cases in Ohio, The Mark Bamberger Co., LLC finds opportunities to represent employees who have been wronged. The challenge is to define with our clients the difference between being wronged in fact and being able to prove that a client has been wronged in a court of law.
The litigation process begins by deciding if a client has a constitutional claim, such as gender, age, or racial bias; or else some noted violation of an existing contract or union agreement. Most of the labor clients we see did not sign a contract with their employer, are not part of a union, and do not have a viable constitutional claim to proffer. That makes litigation tough. Additionally, our clients need to consider the potential outcome. They typically fall into one of three categories: (1) those who continue to hold their jobs, yet want some remedy for a wrong; (2) those who lost their job and want it back, if at all possible; and (3) those who lost their job and do not want to go anywhere near the place ever, ever, ever again. Different approaches and sensitivities are indicated depending on which category is applicable in the case at bar. Some law firms go right for the civil complaint (suing the “SOB/s”). At The Mark Bamberger Co., LLC, we often find that a three-step approach provides the best opportunity for our clients to get where they need to go; with only the third and final step being a civil complaint.
Overall, the most important thing for our clients in ANY litigation environment to do is to define what a “victory” looks like. Many times they just need help in order to move on with their life with some version of closure; be it financial, psychological, or otherwise.