Jessica Walker (Walker), an Ohio resident, was employed by Ohio National Financial Services. Inc. (Ohio National) from July 7, 2012 to July 31, 2017. In 2017, Ohio National announced it would implement a modified full-time work schedule that would be available to some employees. It was Walker's understanding that the modified work schedule was to benefit female employees with young children. In July 2017, Walker expressed concerns about the modified work schedule not being offered to all similarly situated employees.
On Friday, July 28, 2017, Walker met with several Ohio National officials to discuss her concerns. During the meeting, Walker said that, if the company did not offer the same work schedule to all similarly situated employees, she would likely contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to determine if the disparate treatment would be unlawful. On Monday, July 31, 2017, Ohio National terminated Walker's employment.
On April 13, 2021, Walker received a "right to sue" letter from the Indianapolis office of the EEOC. On July 1, Walker filed a job discrimination lawsuit against Ohio National in federal court in Ohio. The "right to sue" letter is attached to the complaint as an exhibit. The complaint and exhibits are here. In her complaint, Walker said she had exhausted her administrative remedies by filing a charge of retaliation with the EEOC alleging that the company had terminated her employment because she had indicated her intent to contact the EEOC. (See Walker v. Ohio National, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, Case No. 1:21-cv-448.)
The One Claim for Relief
Walker's complaint contains one claim for relief. She alleges that Ohio National's actions constitute retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. She seeks lost wages, fringe benefits, compensatory and punitive damages, and attorney fees and costs.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Donald R. Cole. President Trump nominated him in May 2019. The Senate confirmed him in December 2019.
This lawsuit is in its early stages. I think it is likely that the case will be settled. I plan to report significant developments.