Can I be terminated while on light duty worker’s comp?

I was hired 07/01. I was in training when I fell on 07/11 and was placed

on light duty by occupational health. From then until 08/30, I sat in the

break room. I was called in on 08/31, my day off, and was terminated for

unsatisfactory work performance. It was the 89th day of my probationary period,

I would have been in the union on 09/01.

Asked on September 12, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

IF you truly did have performance issues, you can be terminated due to them: being on worker's compensation, being injured, being on light duty, etc. does not prevent your termination for otherwise valid and unrelated reasons. But what they can't do is fire you for being injured and/or on worker's comp and call it a termination for poor performance when it was not. If you believe they are lying and are just using poor performance as an excuse, contact the labor department to file a complaint, and/or speak with an employment law attorney about possibly suing. But if you believe they could prove performance issues, then it is probably not worth doing so, since, as stated, poor performance would justify termination.


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