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Ohio police officer's case remains in settlement talks

The Ohio state workers' compensation is set up to protect state employees who are injured at work or on the job. The system allows injured workers to recover costs that stem from the injury, like lost earnings or medical bills

When we think of workplace accidents and injuries, physical injuries often come to mind first but what about other types of injuries, including psychological. This is the case of a police officer who was fired in January 2012. The city and the officer's attorneys are in the midst of settlement discussions to determine his future working for the city of Canton, Ohio. The employee currently receives disability pay from a workers' compensation claim for post-traumatic stress disorder from a 2003 injury.

Three months ago, an arbitrator came to the decision that the officer didn't deserve to be fired and that he should be reinstated following a medical okay. The city now wants this decision thrown own.

The dispute stems from an incident involving a 2011 traffic stop. The officer reacted to discovering a license pistol in the driver's car. The reaction was recorded and posted on the Internet. The officer was fired after the video went viral and for making numerous threats during traffic stops.

The officer was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and still receives disability pay. He filed a separate claim in July of 2012 that said the city fired him as retaliation for his filing of a workers' compensation claim to cover his PTSD. The Ohio Industrial Commission approved the claim and granted the temporary disability. The city challenged this ruling as well and the case will go in front of a mediator next month.

Source: Canton Rep, "Harless' future on force still unknown," Matthew Rink, Feb. 21, 2013

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