Lived experience of the harmful effects of experience rating

Marion Endicott, Injured Workers Consultants, Toronto, Canada

Abstract

This presentation introduces injured workers who, through their lived experiences, describe three aspects of the harmful effects of experience rating:

1. Discourse of abuse: The story of Halima Tato involves an employer calling her home over and over again within hours of her return from the hospital, urging her to come back to work. This was despite the fact that she had been treated for a substantial blow to the head.

2. Construction of the image of fraud: The story of Basil Boolis describes the harm resulting from an employer’s use of video surveillance. In this case, the workers’ compensation board cancelled Boolis’s claim and charged him with fraud. Eventually, the whole thing was dropped, but the harm was already done.

3. “Hurricane jobs”: The story of Patmanathan Veeragathipillai shows the effects of employers providing jobs described as “sitting on a roof and watching for a hurricane” in order to avoid experience rating surcharges or to earn experience rating rebates by bringing injured workers back immediately or as soon as possible after injury. In this case, the employer provided Veeragathipillai a job counting hogs as they came off a truck, even though a permanent employee already had the job of counting the hogs and Veeragathipillai’s records were not kept. When Veeragathipillai did not continue with this work, he was considered uncooperative by the workers’ compensation board.

These lived experiences bring a human face to the phenomena described in various studies on the effects of experience rating.

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