In limbo: injured workers with chronic mental stress

The Catholic Church closed the netherworld of limbo in 2007, but last year the Wynne government re-opened it for people who develop a mental illness as a result of their work.

Following two successful Charter challenges at the WSIAT, the government has conceded that the law which currently bars such people from making WSIB claims is unconstitutional, and yet it has failed to amend the law in any way. As a result, the WSIB and WSIAT must continue to apply the law to deny claims, unless it is challenged anew in each and every case.

But how many injured workers can afford to engage in constitutional litigation? And how can it be fair to require them to do so, when the government knows that the statutory bar is unlawful?  Continue reading

Fairness: it’s coming in 2018!  But what about fixing the damage done before then?

In a heartening announcement, the government says it will amend Ontario’s workers’ compensation law to “ensur[e] fairness for injured workers” by implementing “full Consumer Price Index indexation of benefits for partially-disabled injured workers,” beginning January 1, 2018.

This is good news: it’ll remove a source of great unfairness in the current system, which has for many years eroded the real value of many permanently disabled workers’ incomes.

But, given the government’s acknowledgement that full CPI indexing is necessary to ensure “fairness,” why wait another two years for its implementation? And why are no steps being taken to address the damage already done? The WSIB’s own economic projections indicate the system can afford it. Continue reading