Posts Tagged ‘workplace harassment’

Chronic work stress? Amendments will let more people qualify for workers’ compensation, but questions remain about how the changes will be applied

February 26th, 2018 by Michael Hackl

January 1, 2018 was a banner day for employee’s rights and protections in Ontario.

In addition to changes to the Employment Standards Act that came into force on January 1 (see our previous blog post here), a new entitlement for benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (the WSIA) for “chronic or traumatic mental stress arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment” also came into effect that day.

An entitlement under the WSIA simply means that a worker who meets those criteria is entitled to benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) insurance plan. So, for example, the act states that a “worker who sustains a personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment is entitled to benefits under the insurance plan.”

Previously, the WSIA provided that a worker suffering from mental stress was not entitled to benefits unless the stress was “an acute reaction to a sudden and unexpected traumatic event arising out of and in the course of his or her employment” – far too high a bar for many workers. As an example, prior to January 1, an employee might have been entitled to benefits if he or she experienced mental stress because they had been involved in or witnessed a horrific accident in the course of their employment, but not if they experienced mental stress due to an ongoing course of events, such as persistent harassment. Under the new entitlement the later scenario may be covered; the WSIA may provide benefits for mental stress resulting from an ongoing course of events.

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Amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act come into force September 8th

September 2nd, 2016 by Lauren Blumas

Workplace sexual harassment has been in the news, a lot. The legislature responded to calls for increased protections for workers by proposing amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) which expand the scope of harassment to include workplace sexual harassment and increase employer obligations to employees.

Those amendments come into force on September 8th. Employers and employees need familiarize themselves with those amendments if they have not already. We blogged about the amendments back in April, here.

So what are the essentials for September 8th? Read the rest of this entry