Lacking an employment contract? Then be prepared for WCB to decide whether a worker is temporary or permanent.
A young ironworker loses a limb when a piece of machinery falls from above. His only comfort during the darkest days of life is the knowledge that he’s covered under WCB. But he’s overcome by a wave of shock when the first benefit payment arrives. His temporary employment status entitles him to far less than he was expecting. The young man immediately calls the Board to correct the error, telling his case worker that he was hired as a permanent worker, not a seasonal temp. The case worker expresses her regret, and then breaks the news that his employer considers him seasonal. In the absence of an employment contract to settle the matter, WCB sides with the employer.
A small earthworks contractor reports an incident to WCB. Despite the contractor’s best efforts to keep its seasonal laborers safe, a freak accident causes a severe injury. The family-owned company is barely making ends meet, and then comes a call from a WCB account manager. The disability claim is set to triple their premiums, so says the account manager, because the worker is permanently disabled. But that’s impossible, the employer exclaims, as the worker was a new-hire employed on a seasonal basis. But in the absence of an employment contract to settle the matter, WCB sides with the worker.
Moral of the stories: unless you’d rather WCB decide for itself the status of a worker’s employment, employees and employers alike are well served by putting the terms and conditions of an employment relationship in writing.
For more information on how WCB determines compensation for permanent and non-permanent employees, visit this link.