Can You Get Fired in Ohio During the Pandemic?

The unprecedented situation with the Covid-19 pandemic is still spreading in Ohio and all over the world. Employers are going out of business, and people are losing their jobs daily. Workers’ compensation lawyers can help you ensure that your benefit payments will not be affected and guide you to better deal with these unique pandemic budget cuts.

As this pandemic continues to carve its path in our economy, thousands of people from Ohio are faced with the genuine possibility that their jobs might become redundant. Legally, unfortunately, you can get fired. However, you need to know how you can ensure your unemployment benefits. It is essential to understand that the benefit payments are paid out of the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, so even if an employer files for bankruptcy, its benefits should not be affected.

If your layoff occurred while you were still receiving benefits, you would continue receiving your benefits since those were approved while you were still employed. However, in cases where the doctor diagnoses full recovery, the benefits payment will stop.

People also worry whether they can be fired for choosing to stay home to take care of their family or by fear of getting infected by the virus. Ohio employees must be informed about their rights at the workplace since this is a matter of job security and safety at work.

At-Will Dogma in Ohio State Law

Hired on an at-will basis means that the employer does not need a reason to fire you. This is an incredibly complex law area, and one must understand what the “at-will” employment dogma governing a state means.

This doctrine governing Ohio state allows employers to fire an employee for whatever reason unless a contract is in place. So, if you go to work in the morning and your employer says, “You are fired. Goodbye.”, there is absolutely nothing you can do but pick up your things and go file for unemployment while searching for a new job.

This is where it gets exceptionally complicated, because how can you be approved for unemployment without stating a reason why you were terminated. If the former employer gives no reason, it can be interpreted in many different ways. It could mean bad performance at work, but it could also mean committing a crime. So, you can get denied your benefits.

Covid-19 Related Reasons for Quitting Your Job

There are Ohio and federal laws that can protect employees during the coronavirus pandemic. Safety at work and the risk of infection are very serious matters. An employee cannot be fired for catching coronavirus. However, up to today, people quitting their jobs voluntarily were not eligible for unemployment compensation.

The discussion of whether the reasons for quitting your job are Covid-19 related, can you be approved or rejected when it comes to claiming unemployment benefits. Covid-19 associated reasons could be:

  • An employee gets infected by the coronavirus.
  • Schools close down due to the pandemic, and parents have to stay at home and take care of their children.
  • Employers cannot provide a safe workplace based on new regulations. This varies from job to job.
  • Employers have to follow the regulations for employees with certain medical conditions. For example, medical leave should be allowed for an employee belonging to a medically vulnerable group.

An employee can abstain from work only when there is a reasonable fear of being in danger. In the case of the pandemic, workers in healthcare argue that they come in contact with patients of coronavirus can have a strong case. However, people working on a construction site may not be able to prove that. Employees with medical can request accommodations to avoid getting in contact with the virus. Depending on the situation, employers should satisfy these requests.

Is Termination Possible When Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

An employer cannot fire anyone because of filing a Workers’ Compensation claim; it is illegal. There must be coexisting parameters, like eliminating the job position due to restructuring or other reasons.

It is also essential to know that when there is a contract stating a list of causes of job termination and you are fired for something else, it can be considered a breach of contract.

Suppose you have reasons to believe that your layoff was only due to your claim filing. In that case, you should consult a workers’ compensation attorney to inform you on what further actions should be taken under the workers’ compensation law. If wrongful termination is proven, you may also file for a civil claim against your employer. If you were denied workers’ compensation benefits, you could file an appeal.

No one should have to deal with the complex world of workers’ compensation claims alone, especially during these difficult times. A lawyer can help in the preparation of a workers’ compensation claim or review a rejection.

Contact today the Ohio Workers’ Compensation Lawyers and book your appointment for a free consultation.