Wednesday, December 01, 2010

WSIB - Non Cooperation Penalties

 Effective December 1, 2010, five interim WSIB Work Reintegration policies have been implemented.  One of the most important to workers is WSIB Board Policy 19-02-02.  This policy sets out the cooperation obligations and penalties for the workplace parties during the return to work / work transition (WT) processes. If either or both parties refuse to cooperate, the WSIB may reduce or suspend the worker’s benefits, and / or levy a penalty on the employer. The WSIB will need to be convinced, on a balance of probabilities, that a workplace party knew of his / her obligation, had the ability to carry that obligation out, and failed to do so, in order for a non-cooperation penalty to be applied

The WSIB non-cooperation policy states:
The WSIB reduces the worker’s wage loss benefits by 50% from the date the written notice comes into effect until the 14th calendar day following that date, or until the worker starts co-operating again, whichever is earlier.If the non-co-operation continues beyond the 14th calendar day following the date the written notice comes into effect, the WSIB suspends the worker’s wage loss benefits.
For WT (work transition) activities, if the non-co-operation continues beyond the 14th calendar day following the date the written notice comes into effect, the WSIB reduces the worker’s wage loss benefits to reflect the earnings of an experienced worker in the suitable occupation. The WT assessment and/or the WT plan may also be terminated.
These are not entry level wages but that of a fully experienced worker which will likely mean that no loss of earnings will be paid in the majority of cases. For example if a worker is being trained as a paralegal and fails to cooperate the workers benefits will be reduced to reflect the earnings of a fully experienced paralegal with is approximately $32.00 per hour.  So if the worker originally earned $18 per hour there would be no benefits paid by the Board.
The Wage loss benefits remain suspended until the date the worker starts co-operating again, at which point the WSIB stops the non-co-operation penalty and restores wage loss benefits. Wage loss benefits are restored on the day following the day that the WSIB is satisfied of the worker’s "renewed co-operation."
The use of the word "suspension" is significant.  Under section 66 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, RSO 1997, c. 16. Sched A, if payments are suspended under the insurance plan, no compensation is payable in respect of the period of suspension.
For employers, the WSIB will levy an “initial penalty” of 50% of the cost of the worker’s loss of earnings (LOE) benefits from the date the written notice comes into effect (which is seven WSIB business days after the date of the WSIB’s written notice) until the 14th calendar day following that date, or until the employer starts cooperating again – whichever is earlier. If the employer’s non-cooperation continues beyond that 14th calendar day, the WSIB will levy a “full penalty” which is equal to 100% of the cost of the worker’s LOE, plus 100% of any costs associated with providing WT services to the worker.

I caution workers to meet with their employers, attempt to identify suitable work and if in an LMR continue to attend school.  It is very important to cooperate under these new policies.  It is too early to see how aggressively the Board will be applying these penalties and how far they will go to "force" employers to take workers back to work.  We have been that retraining is a last resort how these policies will play out remains to be seen.  In the interim cooperate so that your benefits are not jeopardized.


Anonymous said...

EMPLOYERS Compensation Board!

Anonymous said...

they're trying to get my spouse to return for work hardening to returne to his pre-injury job, even though he has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis through his neck, shoulder and arms. He can't even scrape the frost off the car window without pain - how is he supposed to operate a grinding machine? He's done this job for 25 years.

Anonymous said...

They don't enforce their own penalties. It has been over a year since my husband was injured and the employer never ever filed a Form 7 even after several requests were made by us and WSIB. He got away with it with no penalty!! They failed in their duty to re-employ and laid him off shortly after his accident yet the WSIB is denying that the Employer has a duty to re-employ. This goes against their own legislation, yet they are allowing the employer to get away with it. I think the first comment is correct, Employers Compensation Board!!

chicago personal injury lawyer said...

All these rules are on paper and not effectively used as should be. Even for a very simple case we have to go through a tough time.

Anonymous said...

when i was first hurt, my company said they have suitable work for me,which at that time my doctor said i could not work at this time, it took ten months ,before my claim was excepted, soon as i got my claim turned on my worker said i can now look for light dutie work, as security, being as the inside of work is what caused my injury, dust and mold,but the work they offered way back said they would keep me out of the mold and dust with this security job, well now for the last year my company says they dont have any suitable work for me, and wsib says for me to look elsewhere, after going for re assesment they came up with security job, but being as my company cant or wont, i am to look elsewhere,i have asked wsib to look into this matter, and they say they cant force company to hire me back, well from what i see the company must try to find me a suitable job or be fined, well compensation refuses to inforce this,, can somebody please tell me why they wont ,, wsib i mean wont force this,,,frustrated frank,,,,