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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 1759 18 I
6/29/2018
B. Kalvin - D. Thomson - M. Ferrari

  • Referral to Board (stress, mental)

The worker claimed entitlement for mental stress resulting from an incident in September 2014, when she attended a union meeting and saw disturbing images on the cell phone of another union member. She reported the incident to her union, her employer and the police. She alleged that she subsequently was harassed and threatened by the co-worker.
The Board Case Manager allowed the claim but, on objection by the employer, the Appeals Resolution Officer found that the worker did not have entitlement because none of the events arose out of and in the course of the worker's employment.
The worker filed a Notice of Appeal to the Tribunal in September 2017.
The Panel found that the appeal should be referred back to the Board pursuant to transitional provisions in s. 13.1(8) of the WSIA for mental stress appeals pending at the Tribunal. The employer submitted that the appeal should not be referred back because the ARO decision turned on the fact that the worker was not in the course of employment and, thus, the case would not be affected by the substantive amendments to the mental stress provisions in the WSIA. However, the Panel noted that the transitional provisions are based on the nature of the claim, not on the reasons for the Board's denial of the claim. In any event, there was a dispute as to whether the worker was in the course of employment or not.