Can I Get Fired for Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

If you were injured on the job, you may be unsure of what to do next. As Ohio State Bar Association certified specialists in workers’ compensation, Victor Kademenos and Adrienne Hines at Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA can answer your questions and help you decide the best course of action in your case. Call today at (419) 625-7770.

When you are injured in an accident that occurred during the course of your employment, you have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. While most injured workers are aware of their right to file a workers’ compensation claim, a common concern for employees is whether they can be fired or punished for doing so.

Ohio is an “at-will” employment state, which means that the majority of employers can terminate employees for any legal reason or no reason at all. However, Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.90 prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee who has filed “a claim or instituted, pursued or testified in any proceedings under the Workers’ Compensation Act for an injury or occupational disease which occurred in the course of and arising out of his employment with that employer.” Therefore, it makes it more difficult for an employer to terminate you if you file a workers’ compensation than if you did not file a claim.

This means that even if you are an at-will employee, it is illegal for your employer to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Examples of other illegal activities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Demotion
  • Reassignment
  • Reduction in pay or benefits
  • Suspensions
  • Other forms of adverse employment action such as a negative performance review or a change in job responsibilities

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claim in Ohio

If you have experienced negative employment action after filing a workers’ compensation claim, it is important to understand that you have rights. An employee who has been wrongfully discharged, reassigned, or otherwise experienced punishment for filing a workers’ compensation claim, has the right to pursue a retaliation claim.

A recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court makes clear that it is possible to establish a claim for workers’ compensation retaliation without proof that the plaintiff suffered a workplace injury. The court held that the filing of a workers’ compensation claim, regardless of whether the worker is entitled to or actually receives benefits, triggers the statutory protections against retaliation. In reaching its conclusion, the Court relied on the purpose of the anti-retaliation section of the statute, which is to allow employees to freely exercise their rights by filing a workers’ compensation claim without fear of retaliation from their employers.

In order to pursue a lawsuit for retaliation under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the employee must provide written notification of the claimed violation to his or her employer within 90 days of the retaliatory action. The lawsuit must be filed in court within 180 days of the retaliatory action.

How an Experienced Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

If you need assistance filing a workers’ compensation claim or believe your employer is retaliating against you for filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA right away for help. Our attorneys are certified workers’ compensation specialists and we are committed to protecting the rights of injured workers throughout the state of Ohio.

We have decades of experience successfully handling workers’ compensation claims, and we will fight for the best outcome possible in your case. Let us put our experience and knowledge to work for you while you focus on recovery.
Call an Ohio workers’ compensation lawyer at (419) 625-7770 today for a free consultation today.