No Valid Injury Needed for Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Claim


OMA Connections Partner, Frantz Ward, posted that the Ohio Supreme Court recently held that employees need not prove they were actually injured on the job to prevail in a retaliation claim. Franz Ward writes: “Employers should already be aware that, under Ohio law, they may not discharge or take punitive action against an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim after sustaining an injury at work. The Ohio Supreme Court recently issued a decision that will deter employers from disciplining even employees who file bogus workers’ compensation claims. In Onderko v. Sierra Lobo, Inc., … the Court held that a Plaintiff in a retaliatory discharge claim is not required to prove that he or she was injured on the job, but only that he or she was discharged for filing a workers’ compensation claim.” And advises that: “Onderko is one of a series of cases that have broadened the strike zone for retaliation plaintiffs. The case instructs employers to use caution when disciplining or discharging an employee who has filed an unsuccessful workers’ compensation claim, even where the claim appears to be bogus. To take such adverse action, the employer must have a legitimate non-retaliatory reason unrelated to the employee’s exercise of his or her rights under the workers’ compensation statutes.” Read more about the case from Frantz Ward9/23/2016