Legal Alert: Ohio Supreme Court Limits Public Policy Wrongful Discharge Claims

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The Ohio Supreme Court recently issued a decision clarifying that at-will employees in Ohio do not have a common-law action for wrongful discharge merely because they were discharged while receiving workers? compensation benefits. See Bickers v. W&S Life Insurance Co., 2007 Ohio 6751 (Ohio 2007). This decision limits the Court?s 2003 decision in Coolidge v. Riverdale Local School Dist., which had been interpreted to permit an employee to sue an employer for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy when the employee is discharged for non-retaliatory reasons while receiving workers? compensation benefits. Under Bickers, at-will employees are limited to filing claims for retaliatory discharge under the Ohio Workers? Compensation Act.

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