MGEU/NUPGE appeal should ensure no other worker is discriminated against when making psychological claims.
Winnipeg (26 Nov. 2014) — The Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) was recently successful in challenging a new, and to this point untested, Workers Compensation Board (WCB) policy designed to address psychological injury in the workplace.
MGEU/NUPGE appealed changes to WCB policy that alters the definition of injury for psychological claims
This is a significant development because it thwarted a WCB effort to use different criteria to define “accident” under the WCB Act for conditions that are psychological in nature. The WCB has normally applied the same definition to all forms of accident, whether physiological or psychological.
During the hearing, the MGEU/NUPGE argued that this new policy should be considered invalid by the WCB Appeal Commission because it conflicts with current WCB legislation—specifically, it tried to change the definition of “accident” for one particular type of injury.
There should be no distinction or higher adjudicative standard between psychological and physical injuries
The WCB claim involved a worker who had filed a WCB claim for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and was ultimately denied the claim because of the new definition of “accident” in the new policy.
In their decision, the Appeal Commission agreed with the MGEU/NUPGE’s arguments concerning the conflict between the Act and the Policy, and accepted the worker’s claim.
Having the decision reversed was not only beneficial to the member, but to other workers as well; going forward, it will provide important direction to the WCB with regard to the manner in which psychological conditions are adjudicated in the future. This means that there should be no distinction or higher adjudicative standard between psychological and physical injuries.
Read the Appeal Commission’s full decision on the MGEU/NUPE challenge to "The Adjudication of Psychological Conditions."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE