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Medication May Not Be Enough to Remove Employee When There Are No Side Effects

In the case of Yankovitz v. Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Auth., 2023-Ohio-2584, an appellate court held that (1) the transit authority was immune from liability on the former employee’s intentional infliction of emotional distress (“IIED”) when R.C. 2744.02(B) does not provide an immunity exception for intentional torts and (2) immunity did not apply on the former employee’s disability discrimination claim when

In his case, the former employee argued that the transit authority was liable for IIED and disability discrimination when the transit authority removed the former employee from a “safety-sensitive” position because the former employee was not suffering from any medication side effects. In response, the transit authority argued that (1) there is no intentional tort exception to immunity granted by R.C. 2744.02 and (2) the former employee was on medication that affected the former employee’s ability to do the job safety. The appellate court agreed with transit authority on the IIED claim but agreed with the former employee on the disability discrimination claim.

In support of the transit authority on the IIED claim, the appellate court explained that intentional torts including, but not limited to IIED, are not listed in the exceptions to political subdivision immunity pursuant to R.C. 2744.02(B).

In support of the former employee on the disability discrimination claim, the appellate court explained that, when viewing the allegations in a light most favorable to the former employee, it cannot be assumed that the transit authority did not act in bad faith, or in a wanton or reckless manner, when the transit authority allegedly refused to reinstate the former employee to his position despite the fact that the former employee’s doctor provided documentation that the former employee was not suffering any side effects of the medication.   

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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