“Older workers want ‘fairness’ – Sudbury union” / Carol Mulligan (Sudbury Star, Mar. 22, 2016)
When the government in 2006 abolished the mandatory retirement age of 65, it left other legislation tied to the former mandatory age to be dealt with at a later time. United Steelworkers Local 6500 says the time is now to align the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and end discrimination against older workers. The Union is currently representing 2 workers injured at age 64 who want to keep working, but because of the Act are being forced to retire before they are ready.
As it stands the Act states a worker is entitled to loss of earnings because of an injury until the day on which the worker reaches 65 years of age, if the worker was under 63 years of age on the date of the injury. If 63 years or older when injured, the worker is entitled to loss of earnings until two years after the date of the injury. USW compensation officer JP Mrochek points to the way British Columbia’s workers’ compensation legislation addressed a similar loophole through a “rebuttable presumption” which says if a worker had intended to work beyond the age of 65, and could prove it, he or she should receive what in Ontario would be WSIB loss of earnings.
Given that an Ontario 2014 Superior Court of Justice decision ruled the age cut-off for loss of earnings benefits did not violate the Charter of Rights, and that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act excludes the WSIB from the scrutiny of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Mrochek concludes:
.. if the rules are wrong and really unfairly treat people, we’ve got to change the rules.”
McKinnon, John (IWC). 2010. “Age-based Discrimination in Ontario’s Workers’ Compensation Laws : “Promises to Keep, and Miles to Go Before We Sleep…” Presentation at the Canadian Conference on Elder Law, Toronto, Oct. 29