Under Ohio law, an employer is prohibited from retaliating against an employee for filing a Workers’ Compensation (WC) claim. Ohio R.C § 4123.90 prohibits an employer from taking any adverse action against an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim, including — but not limited to — termination, demotion, or reassignment. You have a very short time frame to protect your rights, so it is important to seek legal counsel immediately.
In order to claim protection under this statute, the employee must establish that:
If the employer participates in the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fund by paying premiums, then the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation administers and pays out all of the claims for the employer.
If the employer does not participate in the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Fund, then they are considered a “self-insured" employer. The employer itself handles the management and paying out of claims. The BWC only becomes involved if the claim is contested. Generally, very large employers are “self-insured."
In order to claim protection under § 4123.90 if the employer is a fund participant, the employee must have actually filed or actually pursued a claim with the BWC. Indicating or orally notifying the employer that an employee will file a claim may not be sufficient.
If the employer is self-insured, then the employee must have filed, pursued, or instituted a claim. The requirement for a self-insured employer is read more broadly. In order to determine if the employee has taken enough steps to sufficiently satisfy this element, the employee should contact legal counsel as soon as possible.
The employee must finally show that the adverse action was a result of the filing a Workers’ Compensation claim. You should discuss your specific circumstances with an attorney in order to determine if the adverse actions were a result of the WC claim and/or if the employer had a legitimate business reason for doing so.
The employee must notify the employer in writing within 90 days of the adverse action of their intentions to pursue a claim under § 4123.90. A lawsuit under this statute must be filed in court within 180 days of the adverse action.
To request a confidential analysis by an Akron attorney for Workers' Compensation retaliation claims, you may contact us by email, by completing our confidential Do I Have a Case? form, or by calling us directly at (330) 258-8000.