Ohio to Return $66 Million to Employers

Paying into the workers' compensation system in Ohio is paying off for some employers.

The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) has announced it will return more than $66 million to public- and private-sector employers in Ohio that contributed money to the Intentional Tort Fund.

BWC collected roughly $30 million in employer premiums between 1987 and1991. However, because of investment earnings, BWC will return more than twice the amount paid by employers. State agencies, along with public, state-fund and self-insuring employers that paid into this fund will receive a refund for their respective contributions, plus a share of investment income.

"I'm pleased we're able to return this money back to Ohio employers that paid into this account," said BWC Administrator/CEO James Conrad. "These employers can use this money to grow their business and create job opportunities. But I am also hopeful these companies will spend a portion of the refund on making their workplace safer and better protecting their work force."

The Intentional Tort Fund was created by the Ohio Legislature under Senate Bill 307 in 1986. It served as a response to a series of cases heard by the Ohio Supreme Court in the early 1980s that exposed employers to liability for workplace intentional torts. The fund was to be used to insure employers for work-related intentional torts.

However, in August 1991, the state Supreme Court ruled the Intentional Tort Fund was unconstitutional, and the legislature directed BWC to return these monies to the employers who paid into the fund. With the conclusion of recent litigation, BWC will begin returning this money in the form of credits.

If an employer has a balance in their BWC account, the credit will be applied to that employer's account. After the account is satisfactory, any existing monies will be returned to the employer in the form of a check.

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