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The most important laws are Ohio Revised Code 4123.90, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Ohio Civil Rights Laws, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Family and Medical Leave Act. The first is to provide the employer with written notice of a claimed violation within 90 days of the discharge, demotion, reassignment or other punitive action. The s definition of a qualified individual with a disability. BWC is not responsible for enforcing the laws protecting injured workers from discrimination. The purpose of this requirement is to encourage the parties to resolve the problem without going to court. That term refers to persons having a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities. But the employee still must meet the skill, experience, education and other job-related requirements of the position, and must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without a reasonable accommodation. In general, an accommodation is any change in the work environment or the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to perform the job and otherwise enjoy equal employment opportunities. Temporary impairments having little or no long-term impact are generally not considered disabilities under the . If an injured worker is a qualified individual with a disability, a covered employer may not use the disability as a basis for discriminating against the worker in regard to hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training, or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
Some of the anti-discrimination laws discussed in this memorandum also apply to many circumstances not involving injured workers and their employers. An employee is protected by this statute regardless of whether the claim is allowed or denied. Thus, the court held that an employee who is receiving temporary total disability compensation may not be discharged solely on the basis of absenteeism or inability to work, when the absence or inability to work is directly related to an allowed condition in the claim. 4123.90 applies only if the employee had been discharged after taking some action which would constitute the actual pursuit of his claim, not just an expression of his intent to do so. The court limited this right, however, to circumstances in which a termination occurs so quickly after an injury that the employee has no reasonable opportunity to file, institute or pursue a claim. Therefore, in order for an injured worker to be protected by R. 4123.90 and the underlying public policy, the claim should be filed as soon as possible.
It is not uncommon, however, for injured workers to request information from BWC concerning their rights in connection with alleged discrimination. The second step is to file suit in common pleas court in the county of employment within 180 days of the punitive action. The term also includes persons having a record of or regarded as possessing such an impairment.
Moreover, some employers contact BWC in seeking to avoid violating the anti-discrimination laws. It is imperative that an employee comply with the 90- and 180-day time limits because the employees rights under the statute will be lost if the deadlines are missed.
Process elements that facilitate the effective provision of workplace accommodations include: (1) finding a “just right” fit between workers’ abilities and assigned tasks and duties (2) establishing effective lines of communication between relevant stakeholders; (3) prompt response to needs; (4) having a knowledgeable individual in a position of power to advocate on workers’ behalf.
Further education regarding electrical injuries and workplace accommodations is warranted to increase workers’, employers’, health and insurance personnels’ knowledge about electrical injury and best practices for providing workplace accommodations.