In 2017, the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Group (ONIWG), Injured Workers’ Consultants Community Legal Clinic (IWC), and one brave injured worker launched a court challenge for mental stress claims. Four years after the bar on chronic stress claims was found to be discriminatory under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the government changed the law (Bill 127), but only for claims arising from 2018. The court challenge was launched on behalf of workers with claims prior to 2018, who were left under the old unlawful legislation.
In response to the court challenge, the government introduced transitional provisions with Bill 177 (schedule 45). These changes mean that:
- Workers with claim currently in the system will have the benefit of the new law
- Workers with claims arising on or after April 29th 2014, now have until July 1, 2018 to file a claim
- Although there are no specific rules set out, workers who previously had their chronic mental stress claims denied may wish to request a reconsideration (as per the Minister’s comments on the new changes) and/or an extension of time to appeal
We are grateful to ONIWG, the lawyers of Goldblatt Partners LLP, and to injured worker Margery Wardle, who bravely agreed to tell her story for the cause.