Interviews for injuries on duty.
The company may attempt to sidestep LJHSC by talking to you about your injuries and they may go back as far as 5-years or more. Ridiculous! Like you’re going to remember a paper cut 5 years ago?
They may say the goal is to ‘determine the fundamental causes of these injuries’. We wouldn’t believe this for a second. The ‘fundamental causes’ would have been determined by the safety investigations (LJHSC) at the time of injury.
They may even state that the interview is ‘not disciplinary’ and they’ll make the claim that they are following the Collective agreement and the Labour Code. Their claims would be unsupported.
They’ll record they had this conversation/interview with you and use it in the future which may include discipline.
Interviews with the ‘boss’ is intimidating, you know it and they know it. So why have them? Perhaps to help you not to file future claims lest you be interviewed again.
These interviews, if held by the employer are viewed as claims suppression, which is an offense under section 149 of the WSIA (Workplace Safety and Insurance Act).
Exactly what is claims suppression? An article from the Institute for Work & Health explains:
“Claim suppression can be defined as actions undertaken by an employer that hinder the appropriate reporting of a worker’s injury or illness resulting from work. This includes instances where the employer induces the worker not to report the occurrence to a provincial workers’ compensation authority. Additionally, claim suppression includes situations where the employer’s actions lead to the under-reporting of the severity of the worker’s condition or, alternatively, the amount of time that the worker was off work due to his or her injury or illness.
Claim suppression can be the result of coercive and overt actions by the employer, such as intimidating the worker with the threat of repercussions. Claim suppression can also be more subtle. For instance, an employer may wrongly offer an injured worker continued wages in lieu of the worker submitting a claim for workers’ compensation.”
Does the above sound familiar?
What happens when an employee gets injured and have yet to see a doctor or fill out a WSIB claim? The employer will offer ‘modified’ work without knowing the medical limitations that would have been recommended by your doctor.
Why would they do this? Lets see what the data says.
If you log into your ESS, under ‘Pay and Compensation’, under ‘Performance Targets’ for the year of 2014. You will see an interesting document labeled ‘CTI targets’ showing that they have targets to meet for reduce loss time injuries.
In other words, less loss time = bigger bonus. CTI is also known as ‘the bonus’ for management.
If they can dissuade you from seeing doctor and/or filling out a WSIB form by offering you modified work or putting you in the ‘hot seat’ in an interview, there would be less or no loss time recorded.
The incentives are not set up right. It is intended to help incentivize a means to find preventive measures to create a safer working environment; it is not meant to encourage bribing the injured with modified work and intimidate with interviews.
WSIB and Health and Safety Laws are a result of legislation to force the Employer to take Health and Safety seriously, the caveat is it protects the employer from being sued by you for their negligence if injured.
WSIB and our LJHSC are in place to help the employer and employees find ways to minimize hazards to reduce or rid of injuries altogether.
As a scenario, let’s just say you went along with this charade… you took the employer offer of modified work upon injuring yourself, they try to convinced you that they’ll ‘take care of you’ that there is no need for doctors and forms; after a week you are still hurting… you decide to go to a doctor and file a WSIB claim because you don’t know the extent of the injury. The employer will argue that you waited too long and your injury could have been caused at home. This setup fails the employee. You could lose your claim.
If you get injured on duty, immediately report it to the employer, report to the Union/LJHSC and report it to WSIB, talk to your doctor about limitations if any. WSIB have an easy online form to fill out here: https://www.wsib.ca/en/workers-eform6
If the employer wants to talk to you about your past injuries in an ‘non discipline’ interview, contact the Local and/or your shop steward for representation and fill out a fact online here: https://www.cupw560.ca/grievance-fact-sheet/
The Local can follow up on whether or not the meeting is obligatory.
You may also call the WSIB complaint number for alleged claims suppression 1-800-387-0750.