Employer complaint: Appeal on transfer of costs

An employer representative contacted the Commission about delays and lack of notice concerning an appeal of a transfer-of-costs decision.

The injury occurred in June, 2007. One year later, the employer representative was notified that 100 per cent of the costs of the accident were being transferred to another Schedule 1 employer. The employer representative heard nothing more until an appeals resolution officer (ARO) called in October 2011 to schedule a hearing about the transfer of costs. The ARO confirmed that the other employer had filed the objection within the six-month limit but did not decide to go forward with the objection until early in 2011, three years after the cost transfer and four years after the injury. The first employer thought it was disadvantaged by this delay and lack of early notice. It had lost track of witnesses and did not have all the records it would need for the appeal.

The Commission contacted the executive director of the Appeals Branch who responded in writing to the employer representative’s concerns. The executive director confirmed that the WSIB allows parties to “bookmark” their appeal within the six-month appeal limit. However, there is no time limit for filing the objection form, which triggers the involvement of the Appeals Branch.

The executive director agreed changes could be made to ensure that other parties are made aware as soon as possible of a potential appeal in a transfer-of-costs case. She spoke with the management of the Transfer of Costs unit and said a new procedure will be put in place to ensure that the non-objecting party is notified at two points: when an employer notifies the WSIB of its intent to object and when the objection form is returned confirming the intention to pursue the appeal.

The executive director also directed the AROs who deal with transfer-of-cost appeals to review files when they are assigned and ensure that all interested parties receive all the submissions and evidence.