Excerpts from December 2011 “An Ounce of Prevention” Newsletter

*The following are excerpts from some of the articles presented in our Newsletter. Please contact us to obtain complete copies of past Newsletters.

Bad Behavior Costs Employer—And Supervisors—Dearly

A court of appeals in Cleveland recently affirmed a jury verdict awarded to an employee who claimed his discharge was retaliatory. Although this jury award was the largest in Ohio history for this type of action ($46 million), the court sent the case back down to the trial court to apply the statutory punitive-damages cap. Regardless of whether or how much the trial court reduced the punitive damage award, this is not a situation in which you want to find yourself.

Attorney Rose Earns Distinction as One of Only Four Ohio Attorneys Certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Specialist in Both Workers’ Compensation Law and Labor & Employment Law

Since 2003, Attorney Rose has been certified by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) as a specialist in workers’ compensation law. As of January 1, she is now also certified as a specialist in labor & employment law—a distinction currently held by only four attorneys in the entire state of Ohio; of the four, she is the only attorney practicing in the southern half of Ohio who has earned this dual certification.

How Clear are Your Leave-of-Absence Communications With Employees?

Our office is regularly asked when employees can be terminated, once they have been on a lengthy leave of absence. The answer to the question should start with: what does company policy state regarding leaves of absence, and what have you told the employee on leave? All too often, particularly in workers’ comp cases, the employee goes on leave with no clear communication. This makes it difficult to terminate an employee without the appearance that the action is retaliatory or otherwise wrong.

New Minimum Wage Rates For 2012

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code § 4111.02, the state minimum wage increases every year on January 1. The new state minimum wage effective January 1, 2012 is:

  • $7.70 per hour
  • $3.85 for tipped employees (plus tips, so long as total compensation is at least $7.70 per hour)