Background Organizational justice (OJ), involving transparent workplace procedures and treating staff memberswith respect, has been of growing concern in recent epidemiological research as a determinant ofhealth-related outcomes.Aims To examine the factorial validity of the German version of Moorman's Organizational JusticeQuestionnaire (OJQ), to investigate the direct cross-sectional effect of OJ on self-rated work abilityand to analyse if there is an additional indirect effect of OJ on work ability mediated by effort-rewardimbalance.Methods An analysis of cross-sectional data from the Second German Sociomedical Panel of Employees,involving white-collar workers employed at least half time. We performed confirmatory factor analysesto test the factorial validity of the OJQ and analysed the direct and indirect associations of OJ andself-rated work ability by path model analysis.Results Of the 1217 participants (47% female mean age: 51) 36% had poor work ability. Factor analysesconfirmed the two-factor structure of the German OJQ. Work ability was explained directly by OJ(β = 0.30) and effort-reward imbalance (β = -0.27). Additionally, we identified an indirect effect ofOJ that was mediated by effort-reward imbalance (β = 0.14). The total effect of OJ on work abilitywas remarkably strong (β = 0.44). Associations remained unchanged after adjustment for sociodemographicparameters.Conclusions This study showed the importance of considering additional indirect pathways when examining theimpact of OJ on the work ability of employees.