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 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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