Legal briefs

Does WCB cover wrongful dismissal?; CP Rail worker who soiled his pants fired
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|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/21/2006

Does WCB cover wrongful dismissal?

HALIFAX — The Nova Scotia Supreme Court recently tackled the question of whether wrongful dismissal is an accident that is compensable under workers’ compensation. It’s answer? No. The case involved Joanne Logan, a woman who was fired suddenly and without cause from long-term employment. She settled with her employer for $96,000, including $21,000 for pain and suffering. She then filed for workers’ compensation benefits, claiming she had been psychologically traumatized by the firing. Her claim was rejected and she appealed. The court rejected the appeal, but conceded the wording of the legislation could be interpreted to cover wrongful dismissal. “The (workers’ compensation act) says that the term ‘accident’ includes stress arising from an ‘acute reaction to a traumatic event.’ Being summarily and wrongfully dismissed from long-term employment … could certainly be described in everyday language as a traumatic event.” But the court said if the law is looked at in terms of its “context and purpose,” it was clear that being fired was not a compensable injury for workers’ compensation purposes.

CP Rail worker who soiled his pants fired