Worker’s plantar fasciitis not caused by job: arbitrator

An Ontario worker is not entitled to disability benefits because her ailment was a degenerative aging condition and not aggravated by her job, according to the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal.
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

The worker began working part-time at a bakery in 1992, moving to full time in 1998. About one year after starting the full-time job, she began feeling pain in her left heel.

Her doctor diagnosed plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of tissue on the bottom of the foot. She stopped working in April 2000 after unsuccessfully trying treatment and modified work. She had two surgeries over the next two years, returning to work each time only to leave due to continued foot pain.

The worker applied for disability benefits, claiming her condition was aggravated by being on her feet all day, standing on hard floors and lifting racks of bread and dough. Her employer disagreed, arguing plantar fasciitis is a normal degenerative condition and her job had little or no effect on it getting worse.