Ohio WC Terms: Retaliatory Discharge (R.C. §4123.90)

Retaliatory Discharge

Ohio Revised Code §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. An R.C. §4123.90 claim must be filed in Common Pleas Court within 180 days of the discriminatory act. R.C. §4123.90 also requires the injured worker to provide written notice to the employer of the claimed violation within 90 days of the discriminatory act.

An employee cannot file an R.C. §4123.90 claim against the employer if the employer fires them before they filed a workers’ compensation claim. In such a situation, however, the employee can file a tort suit against the employer for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy.

The remedy for a claim based on workers’ compensation discrimination (whether based on R.C. §4123.90 or wrongful discharge) is limited to reinstatement with back pay (for firing) or wages lost (offset by earnings) for other punitive action plus attorney fees.

See our case index for summaries of retaliatory discharge decisions by Ohio courts, with links to the cases.

For more information about retaliatory discharge, see our Learn About: Retaliatory Discharge.