Compensation for mental stress

Mental versus physical injuries
By Tim Mitchell
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 09/04/2012

Question: What kind of mental condition, if any, can an employee collect workers’ compensation for if she takes a medical leave?

Answer: Workers’ compensation legislation replaces common law liability for work-related injuries suffered by workers with a scheme of compensation similar to insurance. However, it is not intended to encompass all injuries suffered by workers, nor is it intended to relieve employers from liability for injuries that are not compensable under the legislation. Psychological injuries frequently fall into this category.

The question of whether and to what extent a worker’s mental condition is eligible for workers’ compensation is a complicated matter. The statutory language varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and the issue of entitlement to compensation is heavily dependent upon the wording of the particular statute or WCB policy. Accordingly, it is important to consult the legislation, WCB policies and jurisprudence in the jurisdiction in which you operate.