Posts Tagged ‘Bill 14’ New Anti-Bullying Policies In British Columbia Come Into Effect On November 1st – Are You Ready?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

By Gary T. Clarke and Gloria Moore, Stikeman Elliott LLP,, October 27, 2013.

British Columbia Workers’ Compensation Act (the WCA) has been amended to specifically to address bullying and harassment in the workplace. The amendments became effective July 1, 2012, and broadened the circumstances in which an employee may be entitled to compensation for a mental disorder (see our previous blog post here).

The amendments provide that a worker may be entitled to compensation under the WCA if the mental disorder is predominantly caused by a significant work-related stressor, including bullying or harassment, or a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors, arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment. Previously, a worker was only entitled to compensation for a workplace stress-related illness if the mental stress arose from an “acute reaction to a sudden and traumatic event”.

In addition to broadening the definition of mental disorder, WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors has approved three Occupational Health and Safety Policies (the Policies) that clarify the role of employers, supervisors and workers in the prevention of workplace bullying and harassment in Sections 115, 116 and 117 of the WCA. The Policies take effect on November 1, 2013 and WorkSafeBC expects that all parties – employers, supervisors and workers – will be compliant with them by this date.



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Posted in Laws Outside the U.S., Workplace Bullying Laws | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

British Columbia: Bullying now part of Workers Compensation law

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Effective July 1, 2012, workers injured by bullying in the province of British Columbia can be considered legitimate complainants. The Workers Compensation Act was amended (by Bill 14 authored by Margaret MacDiarmid, a physician and the Minister of Labor) to allow claims for mental disorders “predominantly caused by a significant work-related stressor, including bullying or harassment or a cumulative series of significant work-related stressors” if diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist and if not the result of allowed employer actions (changes in work to be performed, working conditions, discipline or termination).

The new law is good news. It extends the universe of work-related conduct addressed by Workers Comp farther than in any other province. It allows bullied targets to show the pattern established by their bully. We know the most harm comes from exposure to a cumulative series of tortuous incidents. We expect most bullying-related WC cases in the future to take advantage of the new wording.

Employers, in all employment-related laws, including our Healthy Workplace Bill, are given the latitude to still manage and terminate their employees. The gift to employers does not undo the benefits of the passage of Bill 14 for BC residents. You can read the text of Bill 14 here.

Canadian progress continues to shame American lawmakers who, to date, have not yet passed into law our anti-bullying legislation.


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Posted in Bullying & Health, Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Laws Outside the U.S. | 4 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

PTSD: A tale of two countries

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) is a severe consequence for about a third of individuals bullied at work. That is, their coping responses to stress are overwhelmed just as is done to people in war zones or those subjected to personalized assaults akin to rape. For those who suffer PTSD’s symptoms (intrusive thoughts, hypervigilance (including anger), and avoidance of triggering places and situations), the causal connection between bullying and PTSD is clear. Many mental health professionals agree. Heinz Leymann, founder of the international movement, published research documenting the link in the late 1980’s.

Two current stories illustrate the vast gulf between American and Canadian approaches to this mental health dilemma.



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Posted in Bullying-Related Research, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things | 4 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »

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