Woke workshops and the WCB

Dear Blue Collar,

A colleague is off work with a case of PTSD allegedly caused by workplace discrimination. Now our CEO is mandating ‘unconscious bias’ training for everyone in the office. Attendance is compulsory, so we’re told, because WCB now requires this of employers. Would you confirm?

(A) Employers are exposed to escalating legal/PR risks, rising WCB premiums, as well as harsh human rights penalties as so-called workplace iniquities continue proliferating. In response, anxious employers are desperate to show due diligence in the face of real or imagined bullying, racism, gender bias, gender pay gaps, religious discrimination, ad infinitum. Indeed, proof of due diligence remains the best defense against legal challenges and human rights inquiries of this nature.

As such, while one may sympathize with employers who feel obligated to assume moral guardianship, that WCB is compelling indoctrination is blatant pretext. The Board has no such authority. But unless the indoctrination runs afoul of your human rights i.e.; you object on religious grounds, the employer is at liberty to compel participation. And likewise, you’re at full liberty to let the sermon on corporate wokeness go in one ear and out the other.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Leave a Reply


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. 

Recent Posts

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. 

Sign up for our Newsletter

Stay in touch and receive our latest updates for WCB in Alberta.