Migrant worker’s payments reinstated retroactively

A legal clinic contacted the Commission on behalf of a temporary foreign agricultural worker whose loss of earnings (LOE) payments were terminated even though he was unable to work. The clinic escalated concerns to WSIB senior managers, but they maintained that the worker could work as a cashier and restore his pre-injury earnings.

The WSIB had allowed 12 weeks of LOE payments for a mild traumatic brain injury. The legal clinic argued that the WSIB should continue payments, as is WSIB policy and law for injured workers who cooperate with health treatment and are unable to work.

The Commission’s file review showed that the WSIB determined the worker’s suitable occupation before it received medical reports that showed significant issues in his neck and back: herniated discs and possible bilateral displacement of nerve roots. The worker was not eligible for health care in Ontario and received no WSIB coverage for pain medication.

The WSIB reviewed the file after the Commission’s inquiries with the manager and the director. The WSIB determined that cashier work was not suitable for the worker and reinstated LOE payments retroactive to termination. The worker also received medical treatment.