Injured workers don’t need to go at it alone

by Lauren Osgood | Jan 31, 2017 | Workplace Accidents and Injuries

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the agency responsible for providing medical and wage replacement benefits to individuals who experience work-related injuries, disease or death. In the state of Ohio, workers have the right to make a claim for benefits if they experience a health issue because of their employment at a company. When your health and income are at stake, every attempt should be made to seek the benefits to which you are entitled and which you deserve. 

Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be a tricky matter and one that should not be taken lightly. Upon the filing of a workers’ compensation claim, an injured worker is bombarded with many questions regarding not only the injury but also their wages while working and other critical information. When you complete the first report of injury you are notifying the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation of your intention to pursue a claim. When you submit the First Report of Injury you are waiving your HIPPA rights related to the specific injuries are you are alleging occurred at work. This is a very important consideration for an injured worker as you are expressly giving the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and your employer the right to obtain records related to the body part you injured. 

When you complete the initial forms to report an injury with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation you are also asked to provide a description of your injury. It is important that when describing 

 

Nobody goes to work and expects to get hurt. If you are injured on the job, you are probably most concerned with receiving treatment, getting back to work, and resuming your normal life. Many clients are worried about potential backlash from filing a claim against their employer and are afraid of getting the benefits they are entitled to. At The Bainbridge Firm, we are often asked, “if I file this claim, will I be terminated?” In Ohio, an employer can fire you for any reason, however, if they fire you for simply filing a workers’ compensation claim, you should consider taking steps to preserve your right to sue the employer for discrimination. Generally, it is against Ohio law for an employer to discharge you for filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.  The laws that protect you from wrongful termination also protect you from being fired for filing a workers’ compensation claim.

Ohio Revised Code 4123.90 states that no employer shall discharge, demote, reassign, or take any punitive action against any employee because the employee filed a claim for an injury or occupational disease which occurred in the course of an arising out of their employment with that employer.  

You can still be fired for reasons that are not related to your claim.  Ohio is an at-will employment state; therefore, employers are allowed to fire you with or without a reason—as long as it does not violate state or federal law.  If, prior to your injury, you had gotten written warnings, missed shifts, or displayed other unprofessional behavior, your employer is free to fire you.  You can also be laid off while you are on workers’ compensation. Luckily, your workers’ compensation claim will not disappear if you do get fired or laid off.

Tags: Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Workers' Compensation