Monday, June 6, 2016

WorkSafe BC Failing to Properly Assess Workers' Injuries from Workplace Bullying & Harassment

Young, T. (2016). Vancouver Sun: Letters to the Editor. Retrieved from:
Laura Jones’ argument that WorkSafeBC should rebate business owners due to “overfunding” falls flat. A likely source of the “overfunding” is the numbers of injury claims WorkSafeBC denied workers over 2014 and 2015.
WorkSafeBC revealed 146,814 injuries were reported by workers in 2013. WorkSafeBC disallowed 8.6 per cent of claims. There is no data about claims accepted or disallowed for 2014 or 2015, a serious oversight in terms of  transparency and accountability. 
Another concern is that one per cent of WorkSafeBC decisions on denied worker injury claims were overturned at the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) “due to perceived error in the application of legislation or policy.” This is an increase over 2014 numbers. 
As a registered social worker and counsellor I have assisted people injured or disabled in the workplace and many have been failed by the system, often leaving these workers and their families in crisis. 
The B.C. Supreme Court recently ordered WorkSafeBC to reopen and investigate a claim they denied where a man was bullied, demeaned and harassed by a supervisor. How many other such claims has WorkSafeBC denied? Until they report this, it is premature to talk about rebates for employers.

Monday, May 30, 2016

B.C. Supreme Court judge orders WorkSafeBC to review case of man called 'retard' by his boss

B.C. Supreme Court judge orders WorkSafeBC to review case of man called 'retard' by his boss

Lawyer says client was repeatedly belittled by boss for slurred speech, later diagnosed as ALS

Zeidler, M. and Anita Bathe, A. (May 27, 2016). CBC News. Retrieved from:

A man whose boss called him a "retard" has won the right to have WorkSafeBC review his previously rejected claim.
The case was reviewed by a B.C. Supreme Court judge, who said WorkSafeBC should have interviewed and assessed the man as part of his original claim.
Giorgio Cima got the offensive text message from his supervisor three years ago on Christmas Day.
His lawyer, Sebastien Anderson, said Cima was sitting down to dinner with his family and friends and burst into tears when he read it.
Anderson said his client had been diagnosed with a slurred speech disorder that got progressively worse; it was later diagnosed as ALS.
"Throughout the course of that year he had some interactions with his supervisor where his supervisor belittled him, and he found that quite offensive," Anderson said.
Anderson said the boss constantly used phrases like "Do you understand? Do you comprehend what I'm saying to you?"
"So Mr. Cima took the text message to be a direct reference to his progressively worsening speech disorder and was then emotionally distraught and unable to return to work," he said.
Anderson said Cima's claim was denied, despite never having been interviewed by WorkSafeBC. They also never paid for a promised assessment by a psychologist.
WorkSafeBC will reopen and review the case. 
B.C. Supreme Court Case Reasons for Judgment
Cima v. Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal,  2016 BCSC 931  –  2016/05/25 Supreme Court