Michelle -Ohio

I have heard that there was a change in public policy law in Ohio regarding AT WILL. Is anyone familiar with that change?



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  • Hi Michelle,

    I presume you may be referring to the matter in [i]Sutton v. Tomco Machining, Inc.[/i], an Ohio case in which the question was whether there is a public policy exception to the employment-at-will doctrine when an employee suffers a work-related injury, informs the employer of that injury, but is then terminated before having the chance to secure workers' compensation remedies.

    The October 2010 issue of [i][url=http://store.hrhero.com/ohemp]Ohio Employment Law Letter[/i][/url] covers the details of the case at the appellate level and notes that the employee-favorable appellate court decision is pending review by the Ohio Supreme Court. At this time, the Ohio Supreme Court has not yet ruled further on the case.

    In the meantime, the Ohio editors note:

    No matter the result, however, this case is a good reminder of the importance of considering not only Ohio's statutory requirements when making employment decisions, but also the public policy implications of your decisions.

    In this case, like many others, the employer's overriding business justification for the discharge and proof that it wasn't motivated by the work-related injury when deciding to discharge the employee are important factors that can help its defense. [/quote]
  • Truthfully, I haven't read the details of this specific case but hasn't it always been a general rule that its not wise to discharge an employee who has just filed a WC claim, requested FMLA, claimed harassment, etc?

    Not that thought hasn't crossed my mind...
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