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Marino Sveinson's blog

You have to do it… “or else”: New WorkSafeBC Bullying & Harassment Policies

As of November 1, BC will have mandatory requirements for employers, workers and supervisors to address workplace bullying and harassment. The new WorkSafe BC Occupational Health & Safety bullying and harassment policies will be effective November 1, 2013 (the “OHS Policies”). All employers should be preparing and reviewing their policies.

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Discrimination results in reinstatement of dismissed complainant after 10 years

In a bizarre case the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ordered the reinstatement of a non-union applicant 10 years after she went on disability leave for an anxiety disorder, plus compensation for lost wages since 2003.

The applicant was employed as a Supervisor, Regulated Substances, Asbestos.  She was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder arising from her fear that in making a mistake about asbestos removal she could be personally liable for breach of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Ontario Court of Appeal Limits Reporting Requirement for Accidents at Workplaces

In a much anticipated decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal has ruled that employers need only report workplace accidents when there is a nexus between the hazard giving rise to the death or critical injury and a realistic risk to worker safety at that workplace.  The original decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board, which was upheld on judicial review, had very broad implications for the operators of recreational businesses.

Unauthorized Overtime is a Big Risk

When ICBC’s 1500 workers go on strike for one day on Tuesday, September 18th, do not expect ICBC to permit overtime work to catch them up on missed work.  ICBC is already on the hook for past overtime that it never expected to pay.   As recently reported by Christopher Reynolds of the Vancouver Sun, an Arbitrator ordered ICBC to pay out unauthorized overtime and ensure employe

Jurisdiction of Mental Stress Claims Arising Out of the Workplace

I have been discussing Bill 14 a lot this year.  The British Columbia Court of Appeal has just issued a very significant decision related to the mental disorder provisions under the Workers Compensation Act (“WCA”).   The case deals with the pre-Bill 14 language but is applicable to the new expanded language.  The Court decided that it had no jurisdiction over an action by a worker against her employer alleging mental stress that arose out of and in the course of her employment.

WorkSafeBC’s New Mental Disorder Compensation Policy

In a prior post I discussed the changes to the “mental stress” provisions of British Columbia’s Workers Compensation Amendment Act, 2011 that came into effect July 1, 2012.  WorkSafeBC subsequently published its amended compensation policy C3-13.00 that will govern the determination of claims under the new “mental disorder” provisions.