Province’s WCB to cover psychological injury from harassment

Compensation board establishing process for timely diagnosis, treatment of psychological injuries

Province’s WCB to cover psychological injury from harassment

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) of Prince Edward Island will be broadening compensation coverage to include psychological injuries that result from work-related harassment.

“The WCB has covered psychological injuries following traumatic incidents for some time already and with this change, we will now include incidents of work-related harassment,” said Jim MacPhee, Chair of the WCB.

“This enhanced coverage also aligns our compensation practices with our occupational health and safety (OHS) practices which changed in 2020 when Workplace Harassment Regulations were included in the OHS Act.”

The change will take effect Jan. 1, 2025 and comes after a public consultations in February.

In a 2023 case, a doctor attributed 45% of the applicant’s psychiatric injury to severe stress due to ongoing alleged harassment, humiliation, and a hostile work environment caused by her supervisor.

Psychological care process

WCB PEI will be reaching out to employers in the coming months to make them aware of their rights and responsibilities related to this change in compensation coverage.

Recently, to support injured workers, the WCB put in place a Psychological Care Process for the timely diagnosis and treatment of work-related psychological injuries. The process includes access to a psychologist and a network of counsellors. 

In 2023, 2% of the claims accepted by the WCB were for psychological injuries, said WCB.

“As part of its new strategic plan, the WCB recognizes that the needs of workers and employers are evolving and becoming more complex,” said WCB. “Enhancing compensation for psychological injuries is one way to address those needs and to make our coverage more inclusive. Work-related harassment prevention efforts will continue in parallel as prevention is equally important.”

In February, a worker filed an appeal before the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers’ Compensation, arguing that her employer caused her psychological injury due to the workplace’s stressful environment.

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