Question

Can my employer fire me after I am injured at work in Ohio?

Sponsored Answer
Daniel A. Romaine - Personal Injury - General - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Daniel A. Romaine

Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., L.P.A.
Euclid, OH
Phone: 216-289-4740
Fax: 216-289-4743

View Profile
Answer

Ohio, like many other states, is an “at-will” employment state, meaning that your employer can fire you (or you can quit) without warning or reason, and for no reason whatsoever. However, if you have been injured and have already filed for workers’ compensation, Ohio law protects you from retaliatory acts by your employer based on that filing, including termination. It is illegal in Ohio for an employer to take any of the following actions if they are motivated by an employee filing a workers’ compensation claim:

  • Decrease in wages or benefits
  • Negative scheduling actions (for example, putting a day worker on the night shift)
  • Harassments, threats or intimidation
  • Giving the injured employee a poor performance review
  • Firing the employee

While this legal protection is reassuring, be aware that it is not all-encompassing. Your employer may choose to lay you off if downsizing is happening in your organization, or they can fire you for reasons unrelated to the injury or receiving workers’ compensation. This is related to the “at-will” employment concept. While you have legal protection to receive workers’ compensation, beyond that, you are like every other employee. There is no ongoing guarantee of employment in most cases in Ohio. You will, however, continue to receive benefits as long as you are rated by your doctor as medically unable to return to work, even with duty restrictions.

You may also ask, “what if you were fired after your work injury, but before you had a chance to file for workers’ comp benefits?” In 2011, the Ohio Supreme Court recognized a “public policy exception” to at-will employment related to this type of situation in Sutton v. Tomco Machine, Inc. In this case, a machine worker was fired within an hour of his injury. He was given essentially no reason for his firing. The high court held that the injured worker had a right to file a claim for wrongful termination in civil court, since Ohio law did not expressly protect injured workers before they filed a workers’ compensation claim.

Hiring a lawyer to help you with the entire workers’ compensation claim process is a good idea. They can help you file the paperwork properly and can advise you of your rights under Ohio law if your employer takes negative or retaliatory action against you for filing your claim. If the case ends up being litigated, you may win reinstatement and back pay if you were fired, or damages that include lost wages if you were demoted or suffered another type of pay cut. It also signals to your employer (and their workers’ compensation insurer) that you have legal counsel to back up your claim and are unlikely to be intimidated by inappropriate or unlawful actions.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Other Answers By Daniel A. Romaine

Birth Injury

What can I do if I think my Ohio doctor should have recommended a C-section during birth?

Complications can happen during any childbirth whether natural or via Cesarean section (C-section). Physicians in the past have provided C-sections …

Sponsored answer by Daniel A. Romaine

Personal Injury - Plaintiff

Can I sue for mental suffering after a car accident in Ohio?

The short answer to your question is yes, you can sue for emotional distress in a personal injury lawsuit or file for it in an insurance claim. …

Sponsored answer by Daniel A. Romaine

Other Answers About Workers' Compensation

Workers' Compensation

Should I Sue My Employer After An Injury In New York?

Can I Sue My Employer After An Injury In New York?After a workplace injury, most employees are limited to compensation available through the …

Sponsored answer by David Klein

Workers' Compensation

If I’m an undocumented worker, can I still file for workers’ compensation in California?

In California, as in many states, undocumented workers are provided for in the event of a workplace accident. California Labor Code section 3351(a) …

Sponsored answer by Russell L. Glauber

Workers' Compensation

What should I do if I am injured at work in Georgia?

If you have been injured at work, you should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible and promptly seek medical attention. Once you …

Sponsored answer by Marvin L. Price

Disclaimer:

If you send a lawyer or law firm email through this service, your email will not create an attorney-client relationship and will not necessarily be treated as privileged or confidential. You should not send sensitive or confidential information via this email service. The lawyer or law firm to whom you are writing may not choose to accept you as a client. Moreover, as the Internet is not necessarily a secure environment it is possible that your email sent via the Internet might be intercepted and read by third parties. Super Lawyers will not retain a copy of this message.

Page Generated: 0.36349296569824 sec