Learn About: Retaliatory Discharge

Learn About Ohio Workers’ Compensation

Retaliatory Discharge

The Ohio workers’ compensation system can be confusing. Our learn about pages provide basic information about the Ohio workers’ compensation system. You can find out more about the system from our Ohio Workers’ Compensation Guide or our explanation of Ohio workers’ compensation terms.

Learn about retaliatory discharge:

  • R.C. §4123.90 prohibits employers from taking “any punitive action” against an employee who pursues a workers’ compensation claim including (but not limited to) firing, demoting or reassigning the employee;
  • unlike a workers’ compensation claim, an R.C. §4123.90 lawsuit does not involve the BWC or the Industrial Commission;
  • if your employer discriminated against you for pursuing a workers’ compensation claim, your remedy is to file a lawsuit in Common Pleas Court within 180 days of the discriminatory act;
  • before filing the lawsuit, R.C. §4123.90 requires the employee to give the employer written notice of the claimed violation within 90 days of the discriminatory act;
  • the employer cannot retaliate against an employee for pursuing a workers’ compensation claim even if that employee did not establish their right to participate for their injury;
  • an employee can pursue a claim for workers’ compensation discrimination even if an arbitrator found that the employer had just cause to fire them;
  • an employee cannot pursue an R.C. §4123.90 claim if the employer fires the employee after their injury, but before they were able to file a workers’ compensation claim;
  • even though an employee fired before filing their workers’ compensation claim cannot file a lawsuit based on R.C. §4123.90, they can pursue a tort suit against the employer for a wrongful discharge in violation of public policy, which has the same remedy as R.C. §4123.90;
  • the remedy for a successful R.C.§4123.90 claim is limited to reinstatement with back pay (for firing) or wages lost (offset by earnings) for other punitive action plus attorney fees.

See our retaliatory discharge page for more information about retaliatory discharge.