The state of Ohio is an at-will employment state, which means employers can terminate employees at any time for any legal reason and employees can quit their jobs whenever they wish. If you’re an at-will employee, it may feel like you’re constantly at risk of being fired, especially when something happens that draws more attention to you, like an at-work injury.
The good news is, there are some exceptions to the seemingly loose at-will employment terms. Employers cannot disregard any other contracts in place that contradict the at-will doctrine or terminate employees for reasons that go against public policy, such as taking time off for jury duty, or for discriminatory reasons such as age, gender, race or religion.
In addition, employers are not permitted to terminate people for hiring an attorney or filing/pursuing a workers’ compensation claim.
Therefore if you have a workers’ compensation claim, you should not hesitate to contact an attorney like the ones at Bentoff & Duber, as your employer cannot fire you for speaking to or partnering with a lawyer if you’ve been hurt at work. In fact, it’s illegal for them to fire you for these reasons, even if you are an at-will employee.
About the author: Brandon Duber, a Partner with Bentoff & Duber Co., LPA, is a lawyer with proven experience in the courtroom and expertise in the areas of workers’ compensation, criminal defense, personal injury and medical malpractice law. He received his B.A. from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY and his J.D. from The Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, OH.