Alberta workers’ compensation: a refocus

December 03, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by Theodore Fong

This year has seen many developments in the labor and employment fields in Canada. One recent development concerns the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB), one of several public agencies across Canada to administer an insurance plan for injured or ill workers. Its no-fault insurance system has been in place for nearly a century and covers over 1.8 million Albertans working for over 160,000 employers.

In 2016 the Alberta government commissioned a panel to evaluate the entire workers’ compensation system. The objective was to examine how the system was keeping up with the realities facing today’s employers and workers. For instance, occupational causes of injuries are becoming increasingly complicated since workers now often have multiple employers (sometimes simultaneously) and complex medical conditions are more frequent today.

read more…

New workers’ compensation insurance rates will affect Ontario employers

April 02, 2017 0 COMMENTS

by David Marchione

Across Canada, workers’ compensation programs are designed to protect employees who suffer work-related injuries. These act as insurance programs administered by various agencies across all Canadian jurisdictions. These insurance regimes are collectively funded by employers who pay premiums according to a number of factors, including their payroll and history of workplace injuries along with the occupational risks associated with their industry or employee classifications. In Ontario, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is the province’s agency responsible for worker’s compensation.

On November 14, 2016, the board of directors for Ontario’s WSIB approved a new rate framework that will completely change the way the WSIB charges employers for workers’ compensation coverage in that province. The new system is a product of research and consultation that began in 2010, when the WSIB appointed Professor Harry Arthurs to review a number of issues related to the financial situation of the WSIB.

read more…

Overcoming the hurdles in managing workers’ compensation claims

June 12, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by David Marchione, OHS Consultant/Paralegal

Many employers struggle to efficiently manage workers’ compensation claims. Most provincial experience rating programs established by workers’ compensation boards are based on two things: claim costs and claim duration. Thus, a failure by an employer to efficiently manage a claim can result in increased costs and increased duration of the claim, thus leading to a negative impact on the employer’s experience rating. The situation is further complicated by the fact that managing a worker’s return to work often becomes more difficult as time passes. read more…

Arbitrator upholds employer’s dismissal of grievor who exaggerated her medical symptoms

December 21, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Louise Béchamp

Exaggerating one’s medical symptoms in order to avoid a return to work can be cause for dismissal. This is a lesson that a grievor learned the hard way following the finding of a Quebec arbitrator in Fédération des paramédics et des employées et employés des services préhospitaliers du Québec (FPESPQ) and Services préhospitaliers Laurentides-Lanaudière ltée. read more…

Ontario releases new workers’ compensation policy to aid in claims involving pre-existing conditions

November 09, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Cathy Chandler

Until recently, Ontario was the only jurisdiction in Canada without a specific policy dealing with the effect of pre-existing conditions on claims for workers’ compensation. That has now changed. On November 1, 2014, a new policy of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Pre-Existing Conditions, came into force. The goal of the policy is to provide decision makers with guidance on how to draw the work-related/non-work-related line when it comes to adjudicating compensation claims involving pre-existing conditions. read more…

Workers’ comp for injuries from systemic workplace harassment

February 23, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Kyla Stott-Jess

A recent Alberta court decision indicates that health problems arising from systemic harassment in the workplace can be covered by workers’ compensation (WCB) insurance. This decision may have ramifications across Canada. read more…

Facebook postings fair game for employers

June 16, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Frederic Parisien

Can Canadian employers use information from their employees’ Facebook pages in managing the employment relationship? Not an age-old question, but one debated in recent years.

In many provinces, the answer was “yes.” But in other provinces, such as Quebec, some commentators took a more cautious approach. In a recent decision, the appeal division of Quebec’s Workers’ Compensation Board (the Commission des lésions professionnelles) said “yes,” Canadian employers may use information learned from their employees’ Facebook account if there is nothing to suggest that the account’s contents were accessed using fraudulent schemes, subterfuges, or other underhanded means. read more…

Workers’ Compensation Claim for Mental Stress Allowed

June 02, 2009 0 COMMENTS

By Derek Knoechel and Lorene Novakowski

Canadian provinces have workers’ compensation legislation that provides a no-fault system of compensation for injuries suffered on the job. The system covers lost wages, medical aid, and rehabilitation for the injured worker and generally removes the injured worker’s ability to sue the employer. The workers’ compensation system is funded by employer premiums that are set and determined primarily by the employer’s industry and by the individual employer’s experience in terms of accidents and claims.

In recent years, workers have claimed workers’ compensation benefits for workplace stress. The various provincial boards have been reluctant to approve stress claims except in limited circumstances. But maybe not for long. In a recent decision, the British Columbia Court of Appeal broadened the approach to mental stress claims.

read more…