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Recent Blog Posts

  • Are Ohio workers’ compensation laws changing? By Rebecca Kopp Levine    As we reported in June, the Ohio legislature attempted to make substantial changes to workers’ compensation laws as part of the overall budget. However, after the House and Senate could not reach an agreement on many parts of the budget, Gov. DeWine permitted the legislature additional time to reach a compromise. The actual budget submitted to and signed by the governor contained NO changes to the workers’ compensation laws. Conspicuously absent from the budget was the House’s... More
  • Applicants may be required to declare citizenship status when filing for Ohio workers’ compensation benefits By Rebecca Kopp Levine    The Ohio House of Representatives passed a two year $645 million workers’ compensation budget on June 5, 2019. As part of the budget bill, a provision was added that requires anyone who files an application for a workers’ compensation claim through the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, to identify themselves as either a U.S. citizen, a noncitizen with permission to work in the country or an illegal alien or an unauthorized alien. All applicants may be eligible... More
  • Resources and events for employers offered by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation By Rebecca Kopp Levine    The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) hosts monthly webinars for employers to learn more about workers’ compensation topics. The brief webinars help employers stay up to date on developments in the workers’ compensation system. You can visit the employer webinar webpage on the Ohio BWC website to learn more about upcoming webinars and register to attend. In addition, the BWC is hosting its Fourth Annual Workers’ Compensation Medical and Health Symposium on April 26-27, 2019 at the Great Columbus... More
  • Employer’s good faith offer to reinstate employee as part of settlement negotiations in exchange for dismissing a lawsuit is not considered retaliation By Rebecca Kopp Levine    In a recent case, Bresler v. Rock, 2018-Ohio-5138, an employee incongruously argued that an employer’s offer to reinstate his employment in exchange for dismissal of his pending lawsuit was a retaliatory action.  The Ohio Court of Appeals soundly rejected that contention. Rather, employers can continue to negotiate settlements of discrimination allegations and include conditions of dismissal of lawsuits and releases of all claims and courts should not consider it a retaliatory action. At the age of 60, after... More
  • Voluntary abandonment doctrine strengthened by Ohio Supreme Court By Rebecca Kopp Levine    On Sept. 27, 2018,the Ohio Supreme Court took the unusual step of overturning two prior decisions in an attempt to clarify a confusing aspect of workers’ compensation law. A long-standing tenet of workers’ compensation law, temporary total disability compensation, is intended to compensate an injured worker when they are unable to work due to a work-related injury. To be entitled to temporary total disability compensation, an injured worker must be medically unable to work and the inability... More
  • Sixth Circuit holds that employer was not required to extend lunch breaks for exercise as reasonable accommodation By Rebecca Kopp Levine    Many people exercise daily, and for Shannan McDonald, her exercise was prescribed by her physician for her genetic disorder.  McDonald, employed as a receptionist for UAW-GM Center for Human Resources (CHR), regularly exercised in her employer’s on-site gym during her lunch break.  Per the collective bargaining agreement that covered her employment, each year CHR permitted employees to elect annually whether to take a 60 minute lunch break or a 30 minute lunch break with two other 15... More
  • Ohio court whittles away at employers’ defense of voluntary abandonment of employment in workers’ compensation cases By Rebecca Kopp Levine    In Ohio, it has been a long-standing principle that an employee injured at work could lose eligibility for temporary total disability compensation in a workers’ compensation claim when the employee is terminated by the employer for violation of a written work rule. The written work rule must define clearly the prohibited conduct, identify the conduct as a dischargeable offense, and was known or should have been known by the employee. However, a recent court decision by the Franklin... More
  • Workers’ compensation law aiming to reduce appeal time is constitutional By Rebecca Kopp Levine    The Ohio Supreme Court has definitively decided that an employee cannot unilaterally dismiss an employer-initiated appeal in a workers’ compensation case; rather, the employer must consent to the dismissal. After a workers’ compensation claim proceeds administratively before the Industrial Commission, any party may appeal the Commission’s decision to permit the employee to participate in the workers’ compensation system to the Court of Common Pleas. After an appeal is filed, the employee must file a petition/complaint within 30 days. Regardless... More
  • Workers’ compensation law changes By Rebecca Kopp Levine    Recently, Gov. Kasich signed into law the workers’ compensation budget. In addition to funding the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), the bill enacted a number of substantive changes to the law. These changes are effective Sept. 29, 2017. Below are some of the significant amendments impacting Ohio employers: Decreases statute of limitations: For claims with dates of injuries on or after Sept. 29, 2017, injured workers must file a claim application within one year of the date of... More
  • Some clarity: The Supreme Court of Ohio definitively decides procedure for abatement of substantial aggravation conditions By Rebecca Kopp Levine    In its recent decision, Clendenin v. Girl Scouts of W. Ohio, the Supreme Court of Ohio definitively decided that an Industrial Commission order determining that a pre-existing condition that was substantially aggravated by a work-related incident has returned to the pre-injury level is an issue that may not be appealed to a court of common pleas. While working for the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, Audrey Clendenin (Clendenin) was injured on Oct. 21, 2008. Her claim was recognized... More