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Established in 1985, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario. WSIAT has always been separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.



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  Decision 1513 14
S. Peckover

  • Employer (definition of) (partner)
  • Executive officers

A company began as a sole proprietorship in 2007, with the husband as the owner and operator. The wife began working full-time with the business in 2008. In November 2008, the husband obtained voluntary WSIB coverage for the business. The business was incorporated in 2009, with the husband as president, treasurer and director, and the wife as secretary, general manager and director. The employer appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer finding that earnings of the wife prior to incorporation, from January 2009 to September 2009, were subject to WSIB coverage.
The Board found that, prior to October 2009, the business was a sole proprietorship of the husband, so that the wife could not be an executive director.
The Vice-Chair agreed with the analysis in Decision No. 724/11, and found that the wife was a partner in the business prior to incorporation. Her income was dependent of the profits of the business. Her risk of loss was joint with her husband. She had signing authority. The spouses had different, but equally important, roles in the business.
The wife was a partner and not a worker during the period in question. The appeal was allowed.