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The Supreme Court of Ohio, in a divided decision, held that a worker who tested positive for marijuana after seeking medical treatment for a work-related injury was nevertheless eligible for TTD benefits in spite of the fact that he had been fired after the injury for violating the employer’s drug-free workplace policy. The majority concluded that the worker’s use of the marijuana, while contrary to the employer’s policy, was not an abandonment of the employment for purposes of workers’ compensation law. The majority indicated the employer was justified in firing the employee; it could not, however, avoid its obligation to provide TTD indemnity benefits under the Ohio Act where the termination occurred before he was medically released to return to work.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).
LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.
See State ex rel. Cordell v. Pallet Cos., 2016-Ohio–8446, 2016 Ohio LEXIS 3142 (Dec. 29, 2016)
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, §§ 36.02, 84.04.
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law
For a more detailed discussion of the case, see