Bias complaint

A worker’s representative brought a complaint on behalf of his client regarding the way an adjudicator and manager handled his apprehension of bias concern. The worker believed the adjudicator’s attitude and decision contributed significantly to the termination of his employment. The worker requested an apology, and he wanted his experience to be reviewed as he felt the way his concerns had been treated was indicative of a systemic problem.

The Commission contacted the manager to discuss the worker’s concerns about bias and he agreed that the adjudicator expressed inappropriate comments in the original decision letter, but did not feel the decision making process itself was flawed. Although the manager had been directed by senior management to review the decision, the manager did not recall whether an apology was sent to the worker about the inappropriate comments.

The Commission contacted the Sector Director to explore options for providing a satisfactory remedy to the worker. The Director undertook a review of the worker’s claim file, then contacted the Commission to report the following actions:

  1. The Director wrote to the worker apologizing for the way the worker had been treated, and for the inappropriate comments and sub-standard customer service.
  2. The Director informed the worker that, although the manager had taken corrective action steps with the adjudicator, the Director also asked the manager to address this type of inappropriate practice with the entire service delivery team.

The Commission was satisfied with the WSIB response. The Commission was also satisfied with senior management’s review of the representative’s potential systemic issue, which were being addressed by the Quality Improvement Branch and did not further investigate the matter.