Guest speakers Orlando Buonastella and Robert Storey will discuss “The Role of Employers in Shaping Ontario’s Workers’ Compensation System”
The past three decades have been extremely difficult for injured workers in Ontario. Overs these years, and often in the face of strong resistance from injured workers and their supportive organizations, they have witnessed the halt, and, in some cases, the reversal, of progressive legislative and policy changes won in previous years. In focussing on and researching these regressive changes to legislation and policy, a great deal of attention has been paid to the actions of successive governments and WCB senior officials. Governments are held responsible for passing legislation that ended life-time pensions while senior WCB officials are asked to account for return-to-work policies and programs that proved as unsuccessful as they were abusive. In pointing to these government and WCB actions the critics are not wrong in terms of revealing who is responsible for the harms being inflicted on injured workers. In this presentation, we wish to suggest that along with government and the WCB, we need to include the – perhaps preeminent – role of employers if we hope to understand not only the situation of injured workers today but the nature of the workers’ compensation system itself.
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