Temporary Total Cases: Abandonment of Employment — Termination (Court of Appeals)

Ohio Workers’ Compensation Decisions
(Court of Appeals)

Temporary Total: Abandonment of Employment — Termination

Select the case name to read the decision on the Ohio Supreme Court’s web site. For other issues, see our topic index to Ohio workers’ compensation decisions.

Apostolic Christian Home, Inc., State ex rel. v. King (10/27/09)

When determining whether injured worker who was terminated from her light duty job had abandoned her employment, Commission must consider injured worker’s ability to perform light duty work at time of termination.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Sadler
Appellate District: 10

Brown, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (12/18/07)

Order which did not provide enough information to determine whether termination was related to allowed condition did not validly find abandonment of employment and must be clarified because termination which is causally related to the injury is not considered voluntary.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge French
Appellate District: 10

Brown, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (12/16/10)

When injured worker challenges employer’s decision to fire him for violation of written work policy, Commission must rule on whether firing actually violated policy before it can find that injured worker voluntarily abandoned his employment when he was fired for violation of a written work policy.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Klatt
Appellate District: 10

Cordell,
State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm.
(12/18/14)

Although a
violation of a written work rule which occurred before the injury may justify an employer’s decision to terminate an employee, it does not support a finding that the injured worker voluntarily abandoned their employment and lost eligibility for temporary total compensation.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Klatt
Appellate District: 10

Gross, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (8/2/05)

Employer’s decision to fire employee because of conduct which caused injury did not bar temporary total because an employee who is fired in such circumstances has not voluntarily abandoned their employment.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge French
Appellate District: 10

Hammer, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (8/13/02)

Employee who is fired for violating written work rule is barred from temporary total.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Bowman
Appellate District: 10

Jacobs, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. of Ohio & Cenveo Inc. (8/21/12)

Rules governing whether temporary total can be denied for refusing light duty work do not apply to injured worker who was fired for abandoning employment after returning to light duty work.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Sadler
Appellate District: 10

Jones, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (4/10/14)

Being fired does not necessarily constitute abandonment of job. Facts surrounding employer’s decision to fire injured worker did not support finding of abandonment.

Vote: 2-1
Opinion by: Judge Tyack
Appellate District:
10

Julifs, State ex rel. v. J. Daniels & Co., Inc. (6/30/06)

Employee who reported accident 30 minutes after it happened did not violate written work rule requiring that he report accident immediately and therefore had not voluntarily abandoned his employment and remained eligible for temporary total.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Travis
Appellate District: 10

Leaders Moving & Storage Co., State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (3/16/06)

Implied finding that termination was pretext to avoid temporary total was insufficient to satisfy Commission’s responsibility to expressly explain its decisions; when determining whether claimant was fired for violation of written work rule, Commission should consider written warnings when determining whether written work rules were violated.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge French
Appellate District: 10

Love, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (3/24/09)

Commission finding that injured worker was ineligible for temporary total based on abandonment was improper where evidence indicated that firing may have been a pretext to avoid paying temporary total compensation and the Commission failed to consider that issue.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Tyack
Appellate District: 10

Luther, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (1/17/06)

Commission must determine whether employee discharged for violating absenteeism policy was discharged because of injury; if so, employee remains eligible for temporary total.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Petree
Appellate District: 10

Manor Care, Inc., State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (9/1/16)

When determining whether injured worker lost eligibility for temporary total because they abandoned their employment, the proper issue is whether they were totally disabled when they left their employment — not whether they were actually receiving temporary total compensation at that time.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Luper Schuster
Appellate District:
 10

Naylor, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (6/2/05)

Where employee handbook did not address situation which led to employer’s firing of claimant, there was no written policy addressing conduct and claimant was not barred from temporary total under abandonment doctrine.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Klatt
Appellate District: 10

Nelson, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (8/19/03)

Commission properly denied temporary total to employee who had been discharged by employer for violation of written work policies.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Sadler
Appellate District: 10

Nick Strimbu, Inc., State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (6/10/04)

Injured worker’s failure to include all previous employers on employment application was a mistake, but not an attempt to deceive employer; therefore, employer’s decision to fire injured worker while he was receiving temporary total did not bar future temporary total because injured worker did not voluntarily abandon employment.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Watson
Appellate District: 10

NIFCO, LLC, State ex rel. v. Woods (12/4/03)

Employee who was fired for violating employer’s absenteeism policy remained eligible for temporary total because employee missed work due to industrial injury. Firing under such circumstances does not constitute voluntary abandonment of employment which would bar temporary total.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Deshler
Appellate District: 10

Ohio State Univ. Cancer Research Hosp., State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (8/17/10)

Employee who was terminated after the injury for pre-injury violations of work rules has not voluntarily abandoned his employment and remains entitled to temporary total compensation.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Bryant
Appellate District: 10

Ohio Welded Blank, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (9/8/09)

Injured worker who was fired after injury, while temporarily and totally disabled, for violation of employer’s policy which occurred before the injury did not voluntarily abandon employment and remained entitled to temporary total compensation.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Bryant
Appellate District: 10

Roddy, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (3/9/06)

Claim that employer’s termination of claimant was pretext to avoid paying temporary total would not be considered because there was no evidence it had been raised before the Industrial Commission.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Christley
Appellate District: 10

Sanderson, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (10/13/11)

Evidence demonstrated employee knew that leaving job without excuse was firing offense and therefore supported Commission’s finding that employee was not entitled to temporary total because she voluntarily abandoned her job.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge French
Appellate District: 10

Shabazz, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (12/14/06)

Injured worker terminated for violating written work rule was not entitled to temporary total compensation.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge McGrath
Appellate District: 10

Springfield, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (6/28/02)

For temporary total to be denied based on an employer’s decision to fire an injured worker for a positive drug test result, the firing must be pursuant to a written drug policy which clearly delineates both the prohibited conduct and that the employee can be fired for violating the policy. Where the employer’s policy did not indicate the prohibited conduct and did not indicate that an employee could be fired for a prohibited test, the Commission improperly found the employee had abandoned his job and improperly denied temporary total.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Deshler
Appellate District: 10

Summitville Tiles, Inc., State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (1/16/07)

Claimant who was terminated for refusing to return to work after being cleared to do so in one claim did not abandon her employment when the reason for not returning to work was that she remained certified as temporary total in a separate claim.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Petree
Appellate District: 10

Todd, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (5/29/03)

Temporary total may be terminated based on employer’s decision to fire employee for falsifying pre-employment application and was properly terminated where employee did not argue before Commission that firing was pretext to avoid payment of compensation.

Vote: 2-1
Opinion by: Judge Bryant
Appellate District: 10

Tolle, State ex rel. v. Spherion of Mid-Ohio, Inc. (9/3/15)

Voluntary abandonment doctrine does not bar payment of temporary total when an employer decides to fire an injured worker for pre-injury violation of an employer’s policy discovered after the injury.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Luper Schuster
Appellate District: 10

Upton, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (6/28/07)

An accident is not an intentional violation of a written work rule which would justify a finding that an injured worker who is fired as a result of the accident voluntarily abandoned his employment.

Vote: 2-1
Opinion by: Judge Tyack
Appellate District: 10

Vaught, State ex rel. v. Indus. Comm. (3/31/15)

Commission improperly applied abandonment doctrine to deny temporary total compensation where there was no evidence in the record that the work rule which the employer allegedly fired the injured worker for violating was a written work rule.

Vote: 3-0
Opinion by: Judge Brunner
Appellate District:  10