Alberta WCB’s relocation policy challenged

Read the facts of this case and decide for yourself — is Alberta's WCB relocation policy valid?
|Canadian Employment Law Today

This instalment of You Make the Call takes a look at a workers’ compensation case out of Alberta. An injured worker challenged a policy by the workers’ compensation board that requires workers, in certain cases, to relocate to another community where work is more easily obtained.

James White, a resident of Green Court, Alta., a rural area about 150 kilometres west of Edmonton, was injured in the course of his employment on Nov. 12, 2000. The board accepted that he had a back injury that resulted in a permanent partial disability. White was unable to return to his former job, but had been found to be capable of doing sedentary work.

As a result, White’s benefits are calculated on the assumption that he could be working full time earning $7 per hour as a parking lot attendant. But there are no such jobs in Green Court. White didn’t want to move to another community, and felt it unfair that his benefits were being reduced on the basis of a job that didn’t exist in his town.