Posts Tagged ‘workers’ compensation’
Thursday, December 5th, 2013
By BCGEU – 12/4/13
How does the new Workers Compensation Board (WCB) language on workplace bullying and harassment affect BCGEU members?
Prevention and Compensation
There are two aspects to all health and safety matters. First, procedures and systems must be put into place to prevent workplace injuries. Secondly, workers who suffer workplace injuries have a right to compensation.
Bullying and Harassment
On July 1, 2012, the Workers Compensation legislation regarding bullying and harassment was changed to include:
- Benefit coverage for mental disorder claims for workers who experience bullying and harassment in the workplace and are unable to work;
- The provision for the WCB to define bullying and harassment and to develop policies and procedures requiring employers to prevent and address workplace bullying and harassment.
Members have asked:
- How do the new WCB policies and procedures fit with the anti-bullying language the union has negotiated in many of our collective agreements?
- If I am bullied in my workplace, what are my options to make it stop?
- Should I be filing a complaint through the WCB process?
To answer these questions, it is important to review the union’s response to bullying behavior. The union has spoken out loudly and clearly that bullying is not acceptable. Bullying in the workplace is wrong and should be addressed quickly and appropriately. Because all workers deserve a workplace that is free from harassment and bullying, we negotiated anti-bullying policies and protections in many of our agreements. We encourage employers to engage with us in developing and teaching respectful workplace practices.
Mondaq.com: New Anti-Bullying Policies In British Columbia Come Into Effect On November 1st – Are You Ready?
Tuesday, October 29th, 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.
Thursday, October 24th, 2013
If ever there was a mis-named program, it’s “workers compensation.” The intent by its creators was to provide an option for injured workers so they would be dissuaded from filing lawsuits against their employers. A better name would be Negligent Employers Protection.
Bullied targets find it difficult to claim a WC injury that is compensable. In other words, psychiatric injuries are rarely paid. In many states, the Chamber of Commerce is lobbying to eliminate stress as a cause of injuries eligible for compensation.
So, it is disgusting that a Marine veteran turned 11 year college campus cop, John Pike, 40, won a WC award. On a terror-filled Friday Nov. 18, 2011 afternoon on the University of California, Davis campus during a peaceful seated protest then-Lt. John Pike maliciously pepper-sprayed the protestors. Pike was put on 8 months paid leave (with his salary of $121,680) before being terminated in April 2012.
Said one psychiatrist involved in Pike’s WC claim, Pike suffered “continuing and significant internal and external stress with respect to resolving and solving the significant emotional upheavals that have occurred” in his life. Sounds like a victim of violence, right? He was the perpetrator as was so well captured on camera that day (see video below for a reminder of what he did).
For his stress, Pike receives a $38,056 WC award and gets to use his retirement funds so often denied to other public sector workers. The 21 protestors he sprayed with a spray not approved for use on campus and from too close a distance split a $1 million settlement. They received $30,000 each with another 15 receiving $6,666 each.
According to the report in the Davis Enterprise, Bernie Goldsmith, a Davis lawyer supportive of the protesters, said that the settlement “sends a clear message to the next officer nervously facing off with a group of passive, unarmed students: Go on ahead. Brutalize them. Trample their rights. You will be well taken care of.”
Tags: emotional distress, John Pike, pepper spray, UC Davis, workers' compensation
Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
Several factors typically merge that exacerbate the misery that convinces individuals who choose to die by suicide to act. Research has found that in workplaces where bullying operates simultaneously with several other negative conditions, it is the bullying that has the greatest deleterious effect on people — bullied targets and witnesses. Given that many people’s identities are centered around work and what one does for compensation, work can dominate home life factors.
Finally, to connect the dots, misery from work travels home readily. Bullying at work inevitably strains domestic relationships. Thus, for targets exposed to unremitting stress at work from bullying, a very personalized form of abuse, eventually it feels like the world is closing in on them. Taking one’s life suddenly becomes an option when no alternatives are visible.
Such a case was reported in the Bassett Unified School District in southern California. Jennifer Lenihan was a Bassett High art teacher, known by students for personally buying class supplies, creativity and loving the art museum. According to press reports quoting her stepfather, Lenihan was driven to suicide by the school principal, Robert Reyes and assistant principal Jimmy Lima. There were reports of the two administrators shaming Lenihan in front of teachers and students. And she was assigned a class with which she was unfamiliar (a classic tactic used to destabilize good veteran teachers) and told to teach the class or lose another class she wanted to teach.
She took stress leave, receiving half her salary for a short time. Her claims for disability insurance and workers’ compensation were both denied. She took out a personal loan to live. The district gave her two options: resign or apply for a waiting list for rehire. She was at the end of her rope. Her mother had given her rent money. The next day, July 1, she took her life.
Teachers union officers said the treatment Lenihan received is common at the district. Further, Reyes and Lima have a record of bullying teachers. The new district superintendent said there was no “written form” record of complaints from Lenihan. He said the district has no “morale” problem.
Tags: assistant principal, Bassett Teachers Association, Bassett Unified School District, disability, educator, Jennifer Lenihan, Jimmy Lima, principal, Robert Reyes, suicide, teacher, workers' compensation, workplace bullying
Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Unions | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment (