Fired after work-related injury, worker gets benefits and job back

Complainant: Worker

Problem: Worker fired after injury, in financial crisis, and benefits delayed.

Resolution: WSIB paid benefits and employer re-hired worker.

The worker was in financial crisis and had filed for bankruptcy when he complained to the Commission that he hadn’t received his loss of earnings (LOE) benefits from the WSIB. The WSIB responded quickly to Commission inquiries and said the worker’s benefit cheque would be ready that week.

But, that wasn’t the end of the story. The worker was out of a job and not receiving employment insurance benefits because his employer filed a Record of Employment that said he had quit his job. The worker said he’d been fired.

The Commission spoke with a WSIB re-employment manager about the dispute over the worker’s employment status and the WSIB did some searching of its own. Following interviews with the worker and employer, the WSIB declared that the employer had, in fact, fired the worker after his work-related injury.

The four-page decision letter stated that the employer did not offer suitable work to the injured worker, and the time he was away from work was due to his work-related injury.

“This being the case, a severing of the employment relationship as a result of that lost time is considered to be related to the workplace injury and is therefore a breach of the re-employment obligation,” the letter said.

The employer offered the worker his pre-injury job. The WSIB paid LOE benefits up to the date he was re-employed.