Funding for accommodating injured workers
The Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal is however expanding the number of mental stress claims that fall within the “sudden and unexpected traumatic event” exception.
If this trend continues then more and more employers will be obliged to re-employ mentally stressed employees to suitable positions (as opposed requiring these employees to prove they can perform the essential job duties of the pre-injury position).
The definition of "employer" includes persons who are "agents" of the employer such as managers, supervisors, foremen, or others who act for the employer, such as agencies used to conduct background checks on candidates.
Therefore, the employer is responsible for actions of such persons that may violate the law.
Under the Workplace Safety & Insurance Act (WSIA), an employer who employs 20 or more employees generally has a duty to re-employ an injured worker who has at least one year continuous service.
And under the Ontario Human Rights Code, an employer has a duty to accommodate an employee with a disability.
Accordingly, under the WSIA an employer is required to re-employ a worker who cannot perform her essential pre-injury job duty in whereas under section 17 of the Code no such specific obligation exists.
Employers, human resource professionals, and labor union representatives need to be aware of the requirements of the ADA in order to respond appropriately to accommodation requests by workers with disabilities.
The employment provisions of the ADA became effective on July 26, 1992.
If a supervisor is causing the mental stress then these workers will no doubt be seeking suitable employment in another department.
This trend will result in an earlier return to work for mentally stressed employees.