From its inception, the workers’ compensation system in Ohio was set up to be “no fault”. It was intended to cover any worker who was injured in the course of their employment regardless of whether they were injured because they were “at fault” and essentially caused the injury. Unfortunately, many employers continue to tell their employees that they are not covered for an injury because it was their fault and employees are not educated on the law and they believe or trust their employers.
Recently, the Ohio Supreme Court even brought fault into the system with a horrible decision that they later reversed. The case is fondly called the “Kentucky Fried Chicken case” because it involved a very young employee at Kentucky Fried Chicken. He was severely burned at work because he was not following procedures that had been set up when using a deep fryer and it was clear that he was at fault. As a result of his actions the employer terminated him for violating the procedure. Initially the Court held that because his action caused his termination he had “voluntarily abandoned” his employment and was ineligible to receive workers compensation benefits. The Court later reversed that decision and allowed the compensation realizing that “fault” was not part of the workers compensation system.
Workers compensation in Ohio is not a “fault” system and employees need to know their rights.