Manitoba labour group calls for higher fines for suppression of injury claims

Lack of employer fines for suppressing injury claims contradicts government report that suppression is happening
||Last Updated: 10/09/2013

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba Federation of Labour wants a crackdown on employers who pressure workers not to report an injury.

Some employees are being told to stay quiet and return to work while hurt because companies with low rates of reported injuries pay lower workers compensation premiums, federation president Kevin Rebeck said Tuesday.

"People are intimidated or people feel pressure from their coworkers not to report an injury so that their workplace looks good," Rebeck told the Canadian Press.

The federation obtained statistics through the province's freedom of information law that show no employers have been fined in the last seven years for suppressing an injury claim.

That's despite an independent report done for the NDP government earlier this year that confirmed suppression is occurring.

The report also recommended a sharp increase to the $450 fine levied against offending employers.

The NDP government has promised to act on the report and has said a new strategy will come this fall that will target claim suppression.

Rebeck also called for other changes, including a revamped assessment system.

Instead of basing premiums on the rate of reported injuries, the rates should be based partly on how much companies invest in safety initiatives, he said.

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