LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Federal: Former Employee’s Retaliatory Discharge Action for Refusing Drug Test Associated with Comp Claim Fails

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a federal district court’s summary judgment in favor of a former employer was appropriate in a discharged employee’s retaliatory discharge action, arising from the latter’s refusal to take a drug test upon his initiation of a workers’...

Missouri Supreme Court Eases Burden Of Proof For Retaliatory Discharge Claims

The Supreme Court reversed 16 years of precedent on a worker’s burden of proof to establish retaliatory discrimination after exercising his rights under the Missouri Worker’s Compensation Act. A worker no longer has to show that discrimination was an exclusive factor in a termination but...

Federal: Work Comp Insurance Adjuster’s Retaliatory Discharge Action Fails When Investigation Shows She Padded Resume and Exaggerated Employment Experience

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a decision by a federal district court granting summary judgment in favor of an insurance company/employer sued for retaliatory discharge by a disgruntled claims adjuster, who contended she was improperly fired after she filed a workers’ compensation...

WCRI Identifies Trust in the Workplace as a Key "Predictor" of Outcomes Important to Injured Workers

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist of the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter , is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers' compensation State Workers’ Comp Acts: Are They Effective? How does a state legislature determine if its workers’...

Tennessee: Undocumented Worker May Pursue Retaliatory Discharge Action

A Tennessee appellate court has held that an undocumented worker has standing to pursue a retaliatory discharge claim against an employer in spite of the fact that he or she may not be able to return to any job at all. Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law , § 66.03 to the effect...

Texas: Court Agrees That Worker Was Fired For Refusing Drug Test, Not Contemplating Workers’ Comp Claim

A Texas appellate court affirmed summary judgment in favor of a former employer in a retaliatory discharge case filed against it by a worker who was terminated when he refused to take a drug test following a collision between the worker’s truck and another driven by a co-worker. The worker contended...

Nebraska: Surveillance Video Dooms Deputy Sheriff’s Retaliatory Discharge Case

Surveillance video that showed a deputy sheriff—while he was being paid workers’ compensation disability benefits—operating a pickup truck with a snowplow attached for some five hours and that also showed the deputy twisting his head and neck to check for oncoming traffic during that...

Ohio: Court Eases Proof Requirements Related to Retaliatory Discharge Actions

An Ohio appellate court has indicated that former court decisions, including at least one by the state’s Supreme Court, should not be read as requiring a former employee to prove, as the first of three required elements of a retaliatory discharge claim, that he or she had suffered a workplace injury...

Federal: Illinois Employer May Not Require Notice Prior to Medical Treatment

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act grants an injured worker the right to seek medical care prior to notifying the employer of the workplace injury or condition, even where the employer has a known employment policy regarding such notification, held an Illinois court. Accordingly, an employer’s...

Pennsylvania: Retaliatory Discharge Rules Apply Where No Claim Was Filed, But Where Employer Provided Payment in Lieu of Compensation

A former employee alleging a claim for wrongful discharge in violation of the public policy embodied in Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act ("the Act) need not show that a claim petition was actually filed with the Workers’ Compensation Bureau; it is sufficient for the former...

2014 Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues

The new edition of Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis (LexisNexis) is a veritable cornucopia of expert analysis, provocative commentary, and a 50 state survey of workers’ compensation legislation in 2014 As with last year’s inaugural edition, the 2014 Larson Series Workers’...

Illinois: Where Trier of Fact Believes Employer’s Non-Pretextual Reason for Discharge, Employee Fails to Carry His or Her Burden of Proof

The Supreme Court of Illinois held that in a retaliatory discharge action, the burden of proof is on the discharged employee to show that the employment was terminated and that the termination was in retaliation for the employee’s actions, that if an employer provides a reason for the employee’s...

Florida: Arbitration Clause in Employment Contract Binding in Former Employee’s Retaliatory Discharge Claim

An employment agreement that required arbitration of all employment disputes between a staffing company and a truck driver did not violate public policy by requiring that the driver’s claim of retaliatory discharge be submitted to arbitration, rather than be determined by a court, held a Florida...

Michigan: No Retaliatory Discharge Where Injured Employee Left Work Without Appropriate Excuse

In an unpublished decision, a Michigan appellate court affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment favoring an employer in an injured worker’s retaliatory discharge action, finding that plaintiff could not make the requisite showing of a causal connection between the protected activity—seeking...

Federal: Kentucky Retaliatory Discharge Claim Not Removable to Federal Court

A Kentucky plaintiff’s claim for retaliatory discharge arises under Kentucky’s workers’ compensation statutes, specifically Ky. Rev. Stat. § 342.197 and is nonremovable pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1445(c), held a federal district court. Citing earlier decisions, the court said...

Ohio: Fired Employee Establishes Factual Issue as to Whether Employer’s Reasons Were Pretextual

An Ohio appellate court has reversed, in part, a trial court’s decision granting summary judgment to a defendant-employer in a retaliatory discharge action filed against it by a former employee, finding that there was an issue of fact as to whether the proferred reason for terminating the plaintiff...

Tennessee: No Cause of Action for Retaliatory Failure to Hire

Answering a question of law certified by the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, the state’s Supreme Court held that a job applicant does not have a cause of action under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act against a prospective employer for failure to hire if the...

Federal: Since Illinois Workers’ Comp Act Created Retaliatory Discharge Action, It Could Not Be Removed to Federal Court

A federal district court, sitting in Illinois, held that in as much as a retaliatory discharge action in Illinois is created by the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act [see 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 305/4(h)], such a civil action may not be removed to federal court on the basis of diversity...

Texas: No Retaliatory Discharge Where Employer’s Personal Leave Policy Was Uniformly Enforced

A Texas appellate court affirmed a trial court’s directed verdict in favor of an employer that had been sued for retaliatory discharge where several employees suffered work-related injuries, filed workers’ compensation claims, took extended personal leave of absences, and were terminated...

Texas: Court OKs Termination of Injured Employee at End of FMLA Leave

An employee who sustained an admitted work-related injury, who was placed on “Family Medical Leave” by the employer while the employee was away from work due to his injuries, and who was terminated upon the expiration of the 12-week FMLA leave, could not recover for retaliatory discharge...

Indiana: Injured Worker Recovers $412,680 in Retaliatory Discharge Action

Affirming a trial court’s entry of a judgment against a former employer for $412,680 in compensatory and punitive damages in a former employee’s retaliatory discharge action, an Indiana appellate court held that there were issues of fact as to retaliatory discharge and invasion of privacy...

United States: Videotape of Plaintiff’s Interaction With Guest Dooms Retaliatory Discharge Claim

A former employee’s claim that her former employer improperly discharged her in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim was appropriately disposed of at the summary judgment level where the employee could not show that her employer’s explanations for discharging her—which...

Federal: Oregon’s Retaliatory Discharge Statute Offers No Protection Where Comp Claim Filed in Another State

A federal district court in Oregon, construing Or. Rev. Stat. § 659A.040—the state’s retaliatory discharge provision—held that the statute protects only those workers who apply for, invoke, or utilize the procedures of the Oregon workers’ compensation system, and not the...

New Jersey: Employment Contract Clause Limiting Statute of Limitations Is Ineffective Against Employee

In a case of first impression, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, reversing a decision by the Superior Court, Appellate Division, held that a clause in an employer’s job application form that required any claim or lawsuit against the employer to be filed no more than six months after the date of...

Ohio: In Retaliatory Discharge Action, Former Worker Need Not Establish Compensable Injury

Ohio’s retaliatory discharge statute, Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 4123.90, seeks to protect the state’s employees on a no-fault basis from adverse employer actions following their the pursuit of benefits; there need not be any actual award of benefits to support the worker’s retaliatory...