Ohio: Termination for Violating Company’s Policy Against Cell Phones in Work Area Results in Denial of Additional TTD Benefits

Ohio: Termination for Violating Company’s Policy Against Cell Phones in Work Area Results in Denial of Additional TTD Benefits

Where an employee knowingly violated a company rule prohibiting employees from taking cell phones into the work area, her termination for the violation disqualified her from receiving temporary total disability benefits for an earlier, work-related injury since her actions amounted to a voluntary abandonment of her employment, held an Ohio appellate court recently.  Acknowledging that in order for a written work rule to be not unreasonably applied, the employer must not only clearly define the prohibited conduct, it must also have previously identified the violation as a dischargeable offense. The court observed that here, however, the employee had been given three prior written warnings for cell phone violations.  The last warning resulted in a three-day suspension and the suspension notice further indicated that a further violation could be grounds for termination.  The court denied the requested writ of mandamus.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

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See State ex rel. Haywood v. Industrial Comm’n, 2013 Ohio 2658, 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 2637 (June 25, 2013) [2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 2637 (June 25, 2013)].

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 84.04 [84.04].

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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