Overview

We understand your commitment to the health and safety of your employees.  More than ever before, employers today face growing challenges in compliance with complex and ever-changing workplace safety regulations and employee requests for leave and accommodations.

What We Do

Vorys’ attorneys draw upon strong experience in subject matter areas such as:

  • the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA)
  • the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Ohio workers’ compensation

Recognition

Many Vorys workplace safety lawyers have been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® as among the nation’s top attorneys.

Disability Law

The last 20 years brought an explosion in claims against employers premised on the contention that an employee became disabled on account of work, the employer did not accommodate an employee’s disability, the employer failed to grant the employee legally mandated leave, or all of the above. 

Vorys workplace safety team regularly counsels some of the country’s largest and most sophisticated employers on how best to avoid these kinds of claims.  Likewise, Vorys attorneys regularly defend such claims made against employers. 

Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation

By adopting best workplace safety practices, employers can decrease claims for medical treatment and compensation related to on-the-job injury.  Despite this, claims through Ohio’s no-fault workers’ compensation system are inevitable, no matter the prevention in place.  Vorys has long had Ohio’s largest industrial injury defense practice, making our team well suited to tackle these complex matters.

Not only are Vorys attorneys knowledgeable in every aspect of defending state workers’ compensation claims, but we also help employers maintain workers’ compensation coverage at the lowest possible price, whether the employer is self-insured or a participant in the state fund. 

Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination claims threaten and often confound the modern employer.  The laws governing the accommodation of disabilities were drafted with a purposeful vagueness, which encourages litigation.  Vorys’ clients turn to the firm daily for advice on how to structure their employment practices, so as to minimize exposure to claims and put themselves in the best possible position for defending any claim that might be made.

FMLA

The FMLA is the best known of various federal, state and local laws requiring employers to grant employees leave for medical or other personal reasons.  Since the beginning of these types of laws, Vorys attorneys have worked with employers in the drafting of compliant policies, enforcement of these policies and the implementation of attendance control programs.  Our lawyers are also experienced and expert at litigating leave-based claims.

Employment Intentional Tort

Since 1982, Ohio has allowed employees hurt on the job to sue their employers, as well as file workers’ compensation claims.  This is permitted under the theory that the employer intended the employee’s injury.  These so-called intentional tort claims expose Ohio employers to significant and unpredictable liability.

The breadth and depth of experience enjoyed by Vorys lawyers in all of these types of claims give the firm’s clients the best representation on employment intentional tort allegations.  For as long as there have been such claims, Vorys lawyers have been defending employers.  In fact, Vorys lawyers played an active role in the crafting of legislation that now regulates these claims.  Additionally, Vorys lawyers briefed the major Ohio Supreme Court employment intentional tort cases of the last 25 years.

The legal standards that now apply to these cases often make them suitable for pre-trial judgment in favor of the employer.  Because of our experience in defending employment intentional tort claims, Vorys lawyers are able to make early assessments about whether a case can be won through pre-trial motion and what exposures the case presents.  When pre-trial judgment or cost-effective settlement are not options, Vorys lawyers provide an effective defense at trial.

OSHA

While employers uniformly appreciate that a commitment to the safety and health of their employees is a key to success, they equally appreciate the difficulty of dealing with the many regulations governing workplace safety.  The Occupational Safety & Health Act presents challenges for all employers. 

An employer’s preparedness sets the tone for how an unannounced OSHA inspection will proceed and can be the first step toward a satisfactory result.  We regularly advise employers regarding regulatory compliance and our multiple office locations permit us to be on the spot when an OSHA inspector arrives or a serious accident occurs.  We handle inspections ranging from those that take a day to those that have taken the better part of a year, and all stops in between. 

We work extensively with OSHA area offices and the Solicitor’s lawyers in contested matters.  Often, the most important part of resolving a dispute with OSHA is establishing a plan to economically abate the claimed hazard and allow the employer to continue its business unimpeded. Where such resolutions are not possible, however, our litigators try matters to the judges of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a big-ticket item for Ohio employers.  An award of permanent total disability compensation can easily cost a self-insuring employer in excess of $1 million.  A successful claim against a state fund employer can exclude the employer from group rating and cause an enormous increase in workers’ compensation premium.

As one of the largest workers’ compensation defense practice in Ohio, our team is accustomed and equipped to defend employers in these matters.  On a daily basis, our lawyers handle administrative hearings at the Industrial Commission of Ohio, where vocational and medical expert evidence is offered, witnesses are questioned and legal arguments made. 

Ohio’s workers’ compensation system also spawns much civil litigation.  Our lawyers are skilled trial advocates who successfully present cases throughout the State of Ohio.  In addition, our firm often serves as counsel to amici curiae in briefing important workers’ compensation cases pending before the Ohio Supreme Court.


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