Workers' Compensation Law Update 2022

Course Date: June 15, 2022

Full Course Materials
Total: 6h 59min

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement (9:00 – 9:10)

Brad CockeHarris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Peter EastwoodHHBG Lawyers, Vancouver

WorkSafeBC General Operational Update (9:10 – 10:00)

  • an update on WorkSafeBC's recently released strategic plan and definition of a worker-centred approach and how both helped shape the 2022 plan and priorities for the Claims and Rehabilitation Services Division
  • the trends, impact and challenges of COVID-19 on claims intake and on claims management
  • other factors, including increases in mental health and chronic pain claims that increased complexity and return to work challenges
  • the various service orientated changes that have been introduced over the past two years including the creation of a more integrated structure and operating approach
  • the increasing emphasis on adjudication quality including a new senior adjudicator role and use of quality councils
  • the re-establishment of a stand-alone department for the determination of permanent disability benefits in response to the Bill 23 legislative changes

Joe Pinto Head of Claims & Rehabilitation Services, WorkSafeBC, Richmond
Belden Wong Director, Practice & Quality Support Services, WorkSafeBC, Richmond

Mental Disorders (10:00 – 10:45)

  • general framework and policy issues
  • recent changes
  • subjective/objective/modified objective test
  • labour relations exclusion scope
  • pre-existing conditions

Alissa Demerse — Roper Greyell LLP, Vancouver
Kevin LoveCommunity Legal Assistance Society, Vancouver

BREAK (10:45 – 11:00)

Serious and Fatal Investigations (11:00 – 11:40)

  • why so serious?
  • serious incident investigations—immediate response?
  • WSBC investigations—duty to cooperate?
  • WSBC investigations—strategic considerations
  • employer investigation—strategic considerations

Andrew WoodHarris & Company LLP, Vancouver

Disability Awards (11:40 – 12:20)

  • changes to Loss of Earnings assessments
  • psychological conditions
  • chronic pain
  • retirement age 

Sarah O'LearyHarrison O'Leary Lawyers LLP, Vancouver

LUNCH BREAK (12:20 – 1:15)

Strategic Considerations for Navigating Prohibited Action Complaints (1:15 – 1:45)

  • what prohibited action complaints are
  • their significance to both workers and employers
  • strategic considerations that arise during the life of a prohibited action complaint from the perspectives of both the worker and the employer
  • how to avoid making some common mistakes

Brad CockeHarris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Anthony MoffattLabour Rights Law Office, Coquitlam

Review Division and WCAT Update (1:45 – 2:30)

  • overview of the review nd appeal process
  • practice tips for advocates
  • trends

Luningning Alcuitas-ImperialChair, Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal, Richmond
Susan HynesChief Review Officer, Review Division, WorkSafeBC, Richmond

BREAK (2:30 – 2:45)

Return to Work and Vocational Rehabilitation Issues (2:45 – 3:30)

  • "selective/light employment"
  • employer concerns with keeping costs down vs. workers concerns about health

Jim ParkerSenior Labour Relations Officer - Workers Compensation Specialist, BC Nurses' Union, Burnaby
Melanie Vipond
— Gall Legge Grant Zwack LLP, Vancouver

Worker Breakout: Medical Evidence (3:30 – 4:00)

  • evidence in the Workers' Compensation system
  • practical tips for drafting the most effective requests for medical evidence
  • presenting medical evidence

Gail SharmaGKS Law Firm, Burnaby

Employer Breakout: Supervision Duties Under the Act

  • who is a supervisor?
  • what are a supervisor's duties?
  • what are an employer's duties re: supervision?
  • how are supervision issues enforced?
  • review of cases

Graeme HooperHooper Law, Vancouver

Worker Breakout: Judicial Review Update (4:00 – 4:25)

  • update on judicial review of WCAT decisions
  • essential cases for worker representatives to know

Peter EastwoodHHBG Lawyers, Vancouver

Employer Breakout: Relief of Costs

  • general rule of costs
  • sections of the Act
  • experience rating
  • how costs impact employer's rates
  • resources

Dave HaraldsExecutive Director, Employers' Advisers Office, Langley

Closing Comments (4:25 – 4:30)

Brad CockeHarris & Company LLP, Vancouver
Peter EastwoodHHBG Lawyers, Vancouver