Workers who are injured on the job in Ohio have the right to workers’ compensation benefits due to the no-fault workers’ compensation system. However, these claims can cost employers money, which sometimes gives them the incentive to punish employees who assert their rights to these benefits.
The Cincinnati workers’ compensation attorneys at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy know the tactics and strategies Ohio employers use to avoid paying on claims and to penalize the worker. We can fight for the worker’s right to return to work after recovery and protection from any adverse action the employer took against him or her. Our lawyers will work diligently to ensure that employees are not punished for asserting their legal right.
Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law
Ohio workers’ compensation provides medical benefits and partial wage replacement for workers who are injured on the job during the scope of their employment. Ohio employers are permitted to terminate employees who are currently off of work due to injuries. However, they cannot do so in order to punish the employee for filing a claim.
Ohio’s workers’ compensation law makes it illegal for an employer to take adverse action against an employee because the employee filed a claim for workers’ compensation. This law prohibits the employer from terminating, demoting, reassigning or taking any other punitive action because of the filing of the claim. The law also prohibits an employer from taking these types of actions against an employee who participated in or testified in another employee’s workers’ compensation case.
An employee who brings a claim for workers’ retaliation may be entitled to the following compensation:
- For termination – Reinstatement and back pay
- Demotion, reassignment or other action – Lost wages
Any amounts that the employee earns after discharge, demotion or other negative action offset any award. This type of claim must be filed within six months from the negative employment action.
Types Of Workers’ Compensation Retaliation
There are several different ways that employers have retaliated against employees who have filed workers’ compensation claims. Some acts that may be considered workers’ compensation include:
- Refusing to provide a list of doctors who can treat your injuries
- Failing to offer available light duty work
- Not adhering to doctors’ work restrictions
- Refusing to return the worker to his or her same position after the injury
- Threatening the employee with termination
- Assigning humiliating work
- Requiring the worker do tasks the employer knows you cannot perform
- Terminating you on a pretext
If you were subject to one of these negative employment actions, a workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to pursue recovery for your claim.
Proving A Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claim
A recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court held that employees do not have to prove that they sustained an injury at work in order to prevail in a retaliation claim. Instead, he or she only has to prove that the employer took negative action against him or her because of filing the claim. He or she does not have to show that the workers’ compensation claim likely would have been approved. The employer’s conduct is wrongful if retaliation occurred.
The protection from retaliation is triggered after an employee files a claim, not when he or she suffers an injury. Therefore, if an employee did not sustain a workplace injury but files a workers’ compensation claim, the employer can face liability for retaliation.
If you file a workers’ compensation retaliation claim, you will have the responsibility of showing you were fired or otherwise punished because of the filing of your claim.
Contact A Workers’ Compensation Attorney To Get Started
If you believe that you were retaliated against because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or assisted someone else with their claim, contact O’Connor, Acciani & Levy for assistance. Our firm protects employees who are punished by employers who are simply trying to assert their rights to the workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled. We bring lawsuits against employers who retaliate against their injured employees.
We have helped many injured workers keep Ohio employers accountable. We work diligently to fight to protect employee rights. We offer a free initial consultation and work on a contingency fee basis so there is no risk to contacting us to learn about your rights.