Appeals Commission upholds WCB decision

A vast majority of Alberta employers shy away from disputing WCB entitlement decisions. A recent decision (Decision No. 020-0262) rendered by the Appeals Commission underscores the importance of drawing your battle lines.

The worker, a truck driver, filed a disability claim on the basis that he was bullied, harassed and intimidated by his supervisor. The supervisor allegedly used profane language and uttered a threat to the worker relative to the potential for his termination. Inappropriate comments about women were also ostensibly overheard by the worker, thus triggering grave distress.

In counterpoint, the employer’s rep argued that a comprehensive psychological assessment (CPA) showed that the worker was embellishing his symptoms. And moreover, that the aforementioned events were not excessive in comparison to the pressures and tensions experienced in normal employment.

The Appeals Commission sided with the employer, stating that the weight of evidence did not support that the worker’s circumstances fit within the criteria outlined in WCB Policy 03-01.

The employer was exceedingly wise to defend against these allegations, lest it be liable for a very expensive permanent disability claim stemming from a psychiatric diagnosis of major depressive disorder.

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About Me

Ben Barfett, Principal and Consultant, has spent his life in the construction sector, specifically heavy civil, enviro, commercial, and energy. Having held senior roles in business development, technical advisory, and regional management, he earned his stripes in the field and in head office. Conscious of the interplay between commercial, legal, and execution aspects of construction, his business insights are informed by expertise in WCB policy and enhanced with disability-specific training. 

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Blue Collar Consulting

Blue Collar Consulting is a WCB and disability management firm. The company specializes in rapid and affordable disability solutions that advance current claims, contain the cost of future claims, and get injured workers back on their feet. 

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