Navpreet Chhina recently obtained a successful result at the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal, following an oral appeal hearing.
In this matter, the Tribunal confirmed that, pursuant to Workers Compensation Act paragraph 135(1)(c), a worker’s claim for compensation for a mental disorder will be denied if the mental disorder was caused by bona fide decisions of management related to the worker’s employment. The Tribunal noted that a such decisions of management need not be “correct” or perfectly “fair” to still engage the exclusion. The decisions of management in question at the hearing were reprimands for safety infractions, training issues, and a demotion.
Without this provision of the Act, the Tribunal recognized that employers may find it difficult to manage their workforce without being vulnerable to mental stress claims, and specifically noted that “the purpose behind this exclusion is to recognize that employment is often highly personal and that conflict may arise between an employer and a worker in managing the employment relationship. Thus, as long as an employer is acting in a bona fide way in exercising its management rights, any resulting mental stress is not compensable.”
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This article does not contain legal advice.