Labor & Employment

Workers' Compensation

Roetzel’s employment lawyers provide a way for businesses to  manage  workers’ compensation expenses through cost-effective claims handling and workplace programs that establish, protect, and maintain positive relationships between employers and employees. Our overarching goal: to help our clients ensure workplace safety while mitigating the risk and impact of legal issues and disputes.

We work closely with employers to resolve disputes before they evolve into litigation.

We have extensive experience in assisting state-funded and self-insured businesses. We also represent numerous municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and other entities. Our workers' compensation attorneys have assisted companies in a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, construction, health care, and retail. We have also worked with a wide range of third-party administrators and insurers to help employers of all sizes reduce costs and liabilities while meeting workers’ compensation obligations.

We regularly represent clients in connection with matters  before the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC); Ohio Industrial Commission; and U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), including Adjudication Committee and Industrial Commission hearings, BWC audits and premium disputes, Violations of Specific Safety Requirements (VSSR) applications, OSHA complaints, workplace inspections, and unemployment compensation rate and claim disputes.

In addition, we work closely with employers to resolve disputes before they evolve into litigation. When negotiated settlements are not possible, our attorneys defend employers in state and appellate courts against claims of workplace injuries, industrial accidents, occupational diseases, psychological injuries, intentional torts, and similar allegations.

We have a strong and recognized workers’ compensation team: The Ohio State Bar Association has certified a number of our lawyers as specialists in Ohio workers’ compensation law. Others have held posts in the Industrial Commission, Workers’ Compensation Division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and other key state regulatory bodies before joining the firm. Finally, several Roetzel attorneys have served, at the request of the chairman of the Industrial Commission of Ohio, on statewide committees addressing compensation and benefits issues, including, in particular, claims for violations of specific safety requirements (VSSR).

Each of our five Ohio offices has dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys that handle both administrative and court matters.

Our Experience

  • Challenged a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation audit, which saved a contractor claimed past-due premiums
  • Obtained a unanimous defense jury verdict in a complex claim and secured disallowance of an asbestos-related death claim, which would have cost the self-insured employer lifetime benefits
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement with OSHA for a manufacturing client, resulting in a substantial decrease in fines and the withdrawal of two willful citations
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a highly publicized wrongful discharge case in which the jury rendered a verdict on counterclaims in favor of the client
  • Defended an excavator in a jury trial involving a foundation cave-in at a construction site
  • Successfully settled an audit classification protest that saved an employer over $130,000 in premiums
  • Obtained dismissal of a case involving a steel processing plant’s former employee’s alleged intentional tort claims for serious injuries
  • Served as lead counsel for a statewide association of managed care organizations in the Amicus brief filed with the Ohio Supreme Court in response to organized labor’s constitutional challenge to the Bureau’s health partnership program
  • Successfully argued before the Industrial Commission that an injured worker was an independent contractor and not an employee and secured reimbursement from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation for monies collected because the employer was erroneously labeled a non-complying employer
  • Saved a retrospective-rated employer a significant dollar amount in back premiums and avoided litigation by working with both the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the employer on developing a comprehensive safety program
  • Received a favorable jury verdict concerning an employee’s claim for a psychological injury allegedly resulting from occupational injury at a hospital
  • Argued the interests of a nonprofit organization to earn a hearing before the Commissioners of the Industrial Commission and secured a finding of “voluntary abandonment” that overturned an earlier award of Temporary Total Disability compensation
  • Successfully represented a municipality in a workers’ compensation retaliation suit
  • Obtained summary judgment for a leading manufacturer of hardwood flooring in an intentional tort case involving an employee who was injured by a conveyor belt
  • Handled unemployment claims for a variety of employers
  • Obtained summary judgement for global building materials manufacturer client in case involving the accidental death of a rail maintenance crew member

What We Do

  • Adjudication Committee hearings
  • Appeal and mandamus actions
  • Audits, classifications, and premium disputes
  • Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) audits and protests
  • District, Staff, and Industrial Commission hearings
  • Industrial injuries
  • Intentional tort and retaliation claims
  • OSHA standards, complaints, responses, and inspections
  • Self-insured applications, complaints, and carrier issues
  • Subrogation and third-party claims
  • Unemployment compensation rate and claim disputes
  • Violation of Specific Safety Requirements (VSSR)

Related Media & Events

  1. Alerts
    Supreme Court Issues Decision Finding TTD Compensation Can Be Terminated Based on MMI Prior to the Date of Industrial Commission Hearing - Mar 11, 2024
    Is This the End of the Voluntary Abandonment Defense for Ohio Employers? - Mar 14, 2023
    Ohio Court Reaffirms Employer’s Right to Raise Voluntary Abandonment - Oct 11, 2021
    BWC Proposes New Rule Excluding COVID-19 Claims From an Employer’s Experience Rating - May 28, 2021
    Ohio Governor Signs H.B. 308 to Create Fund for PTSD for First Responders - Jan 20, 2021
    Governor DeWine Requests BWC Send $5 Billion Dividend to Ohio Employers - Nov 2, 2020
    Several Important Changes to Ohio Workers’ Compensation Law Approved by Governor DeWine - Jun 30, 2020
    EEOC Updates COVID-19 Guidance on “High-Risk” Employees Returning to Work - May 8, 2020
    Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Repeals Emergency Rule - Apr 29, 2020
    Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission Enacts Emergency Rule Relating to Front Line Employees - Apr 23, 2020
    Legislation Introduced to Add COVID-19 for Workers’ Compensation - Apr 8, 2020
    The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Announces Several Temporary Policy Changes in Response to COVID-19 - Mar 23, 2020
    Ohio Industrial Commission Suspends Upcoming Hearings - Mar 13, 2020
    Employment Law Q&A - Mar 13, 2020
    Roetzel Response to COVID-19 - NULL
    The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has a New Rule for the Payment of Medical Treatment for Concussion Related Injuries - Feb 3, 2020
    N.J. Court Requires Reimbursement for Marijuana Use as Part of Workers’ Compensation Case - Jan 23, 2020
    Ohio House Passes HB 80, Includes PTSD Expansion - Jun 7, 2019
    Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Submits Dividend Proposal - May 21, 2019
    Ohio Supreme Court Expands Voluntary Abandonment Defense - Oct 4, 2018
    No Citation? No Problem. Employers Can Now Submit a Request to Charge the Surplus Fund Without Proof of a Motor Vehicle Citation - Sep 13, 2018
    Start that FMLA Clock Running: How to Run FMLA Leave Concurrently with Time Off due to a Work-Related Injury - Sep 4, 2018
    Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Proposes $1.5 Billion in Rebates - Apr 27, 2018
    Ohio Supreme Court Rules on BWC Subrogation Interest in Tort Claim Insurance Settlements - Apr 26, 2018
    Ohio Imposes New Rules on Back Surgeries in Workers' Compensation Cases - Jan 24, 2018
    Ohio Supreme Court Finds Ohio's "Consent Provision" Constitutional - Oct 2, 2017
    Ohio Makes Significant Changes to Workers' Compensation Laws - Aug 31, 2017
    Ohio House of Representatives Passes Bill Removing Workers' Compensation Benefits for Unauthorized Aliens; Reduces Time to File Claim to One Year for all Workers - May 22, 2017
    Alex Acosta Nominated for Secretary of Labor Position After Withdrawal of Andrew Puzder From Consideration - Feb 17, 2017
    Ohio Governor Kasich Signs into Law Presumption for Cancer Incurred During Work Activities - Jan 6, 2017
    Ohio Supreme Court Rules Concurrent Benefit Awards Not Authorized by Law - Dec 9, 2016
    A Roetzel Business Litigation Update - Sep 19, 2016
    Court of Appeals Upholds Trial Court Decision in Ferguson v. State of Ohio - Nov 13, 2015
    Cuyahoga County Judge Strikes Down Workers' Comp Statute as Unconstitutional, Hinders Employers Challenging Claims in Court - Mar 12, 2015
    Ohio Does Not Recognize Dual Intent Doctrine - Nov 7, 2014
    Group Rating Class Action Law Suit - Jul 24, 2014
    Ohio Governor Signs Captive Insurance Bill - Jun 19, 2014
    Appellate Court Agrees Bureau of Workers' Compensation's Group-Rating Plan was Unlawful, But Remands to Lower Court to Review Damages - May 16, 2014
    Ohio Industrial Commission and Bureau of Workers' Compensation Update Wage Loss Compensation Rules - Feb 20, 2014
    UPDATE - $1 Billion Workers' Compensation Rebate to Public and Private Employers - Jul 1, 2013
  2. Articles
    High Court Rejects “Dual Purpose” Doctrine for Workers’ Compensation Claims - Nov 1, 2014 - JD Supra Business Advisor
    US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation Considers Missouri Workers' Compensation Laws, Rules against Former NFL Players in Concussion Suit - 2014 - Concussion Litigation Reporter
  3. Firm News
    Roetzel Adds Szucs and Kabasinski to Cleveland and Akron Offices - Apr 2, 2024
    19 Roetzel Attorneys Named Ohio Super Lawyers/Rising Stars - Dec 29, 2023
    Roetzel Earns National and Regional Rankings in 2024 Best Law Firms® - Nov 2, 2023
    Roetzel & Andress Earns Recognition in 2024 Best Lawyers - Aug 17, 2023
    Magistrate Ruling Vacates Ohio BWC Decision On 2018 Group Retrospective Refunds - Feb 10, 2023
    22 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2023 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars - Dec 29, 2022
    Roetzel & Andress Named to 2023 “Best Law Firms” List - Nov 3, 2022
    Roetzel Attorneys Recognized in 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® - Aug 18, 2022
    Twenty-Seven Roetzel Attorneys Selected to 2022 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List - Dec 30, 2021
    Roetzel & Andress Named to 2022 “Best Law Firms” List - Nov 4, 2021
    74 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2022 Best Lawyers in America®; 18 Recognized as Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch - Aug 19, 2021
    Thirty Roetzel Attorneys Selected to 2021 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars List - Dec 8, 2020
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked Among “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® - Nov 5, 2020
    Seventy Roetzel Attorneys Named to 2021 The Best Lawyers in America© List; Ten Named “Lawyer of the Year” - Aug 20, 2020
    Heebsh Named Shareholder-in-Charge of Roetzel’s Toledo Office - Jan 1, 2020
    Roetzel Adds Associates in Chicago & Cincinnati Offices - Dec 16, 2019
    23 Roetzel Attorneys Named 2020 Ohio Super Lawyers®; 11 Named Rising Stars® - Nov 27, 2019
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked Among Nation’s 2020 “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News — Best Lawyers® - Nov 1, 2019
    Bob Blackham Achieves Recertification by National Board of Trial Advocacy - Aug 27, 2019
    Doug Spiker Elected to Playhouse Square Board of Trustees - Aug 9, 2019
    Roetzel Promotes Three Associates to Shareholder - Dec 10, 2018
    Roetzel Welcomes Four Labor and Employment Attorneys to Growing Cleveland and Columbus Offices - Aug 7, 2018
    Pangrace Quoted on ISO 45001 International Standard on Occupational Safety and Health - Apr 2, 2018
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked in 2018 "Best Law Firms" List - Nov 2, 2017
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked in 2017 "Best Law Firms" - Nov 1, 2016
    Roetzel & Andress Ranked in 2016 "Best Law Firms" - Nov 2, 2015
    Roetzel & Andress Welcomes Philip S. Heebsh to Toledo Office - Oct 7, 2015
    Roetzel Ranked Among Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report - Nov 5, 2013
  4. Event
    2024 Labor & Employment Briefing - Jul 10, 2024