Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Do you know? It is legal to retaliate against an employee for opposing a sex-toy party

At least according to Ohio’s 2nd appellate district in Davenport v. Big Brothers & Big Sisters of the Greater Miami Valley, Inc. (6/4/10) [pdf]:
Davenport asserts on appeal that retaliation against her for opposing the sex-toy party is discrimination on the basis of her sex and religion, bringing her complaint within the scope of R.C. 4112.02. As an initial matter, we note that the private party was hosted by a woman, planned by two women and open to everyone, which militates against an inference of sex discrimination. But more importantly, retaliation against an employee for opposing a sex-toy party simply does not constitute retaliation for opposing unlawful discrimination on the basis of religion or sex. We fail to see how a woman holding a tawdry after-hours party constitutes religious or sexual discrimination against other female employees. In any event, Davenport’s complaint does not allege that she did anything to “oppose” the party. She simply did not attend. … We cannot reasonably construe Davenport’s failure to attend a sex-toy party as opposition to religious or sexual discrimination prohibited by R.C. 4112.02.

Words to live by. Whether your employees should be advertising this type of party at work is an entirely different issue.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or jth@kjk.com.