St. John’s firefighters suspected of WCB abuse

Mayor blames benefit top-ups as claims rise
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/19/2006

There’s no doubt workers’ compensation claims among firefighters at the City of St. John’s are up drastically. The question is why.

Some city officials, including Mayor Andy Wells, have wondered out loud whether the cause might be a private insurance plan that tops up workers’ compensation benefits. “There’s not much of an incentive to return to work,” said Wells.

Kevin Breen, the city’s director of HR, said the average duration of workers’ compensation claims has been “up dramatically” this year. So far, out of a workforce of about 200, there have been seven claims, averaging 360 hours per claim.