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Vancouver Off-Topic / Current Events The off-topic forum for Vancouver, funnies, non-auto centered discussions, WORK SAFE. While the rules are more relaxed here, there are still rules. Please refer to sticky thread in this forum.

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Old 06-12-2012, 02:56 PM   #1
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WCB/Return-to-Work Program

Hey guys,

Long story short, my mom strained her hip and back pretty badly at work and after checking with her family physician, she was recommended to apply for WCB. Than when she gave the WCB forms to her employer, they informed her about the "return to work program" and urged her heavily to sign it. She was also told that if she doesn't sign onto the "return to work program" than her job might be loss when she comes back(won't save the spot for her).

I was wondering if she should sign onto the "return to work program" or not. Her employer seems to really urge her on to sign it and it seems awfully suspicious and feels like their some sort of catch to it, since her employer is petitioning really hard to get her to sign in.

Any tips/advice?

Thanks guys
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:03 PM   #2
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If it's just a mild strain, there's no reason to not participate in the return to work program if the attending physician and physiotherapists believe it's appropriate as well. Return to work is a standard component of most all worksafe claims, usually done in tandem with physio.
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:31 PM   #3
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Return to work program is to slowly get the person back to doing their normal duties within a period of time.

I was injured @ work, and i had a 6 week return to work program, and slowly gradually doing what i am able to. Eventually by the 6th week, i was able to do my normal duties
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:32 PM   #4
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Yeah, its how you keep people in the work mentality. It's also how I used to have warehouse workers occasionally do data entry.

You know, for the benefit of their work program, I had to take an hour to show them how to do something they didn't want to do, have them half-ass it for 6 hours and then spend the last hour going over everything looking for mistakes.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:28 AM   #5
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I don't see why her employer should make her sign the Return to Work form or even be making the decision for her in regards to the program. This should be made strictly between your mother and her doctor, the employer should not be involved until after she has agreed to participate in the program, with the consultation of her doctor.

In regards to the actual program, yes it is definitely beneficial but this usually comes after some sort of treatment (physiotherapy, chiro, etc.) Each case is different and in many cases people do begin with a back to work treatment program, especially with minor injuries.

Consult Worksafe BC and your doctor in regards to the employer "forcing" her to sign the form
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:30 AM   #6
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a return to work program is like ei workshare.
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:44 AM   #7
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I don't see why her employer should make her sign the Return to Work form or even be making the decision for her in regards to the program. This should be made strictly between your mother and her doctor, the employer should not be involved until after she has agreed to participate in the program, with the consultation of her doctor.

In regards to the actual program, yes it is definitely beneficial but this usually comes after some sort of treatment (physiotherapy, chiro, etc.) Each case is different and in many cases people do begin with a back to work treatment program, especially with minor injuries.

Consult Worksafe BC and your doctor in regards to the employer "forcing" her to sign the form
You're kidding?! Wow...yeah, her family doctor(she hasn't seen the physio yet, she'll see him/her tomorrow) didn't tell her about the program but instead the employer told her about the program and would want her on it, just in case people start "milking" it as the employer said or maybe in the past, others have just milked the WCB benefits etc and they also said, so this way, they can monitor her.

So she would or should hold off on signing the "Return to work program" until she does a few sessions of Physio? Than decide if she should participate in the "Return to work program"? From the sound of the employer, it sounded like they wanted her to sign even before any Phsyio was done.

Also yeah, they told her that if she doesn't go on the return to work program than they won't hold the job for her and she might lose her job after she comes back. Can they actually do that?

Last edited by JulyZerg; 06-13-2012 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:00 AM   #8
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Return-to-Work will help her get back to work but doing modified duties ( light duties) till she is fully recovered. Yet still getting paid. That way the employer doesn't need to pay premium to wcb lol
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:57 AM   #9
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You're kidding?! Wow...yeah, her family doctor(she hasn't seen the physio yet, she'll see him/her tomorrow) didn't tell her about the program but instead the employer told her about the program and would want her on it, just in case people start "milking" it as the employer said or maybe in the past, others have just milked the WCB benefits etc and they also said, so this way, they can monitor her.

So she would or should hold off on signing the "Return to work program" until she does a few sessions of Physio? Than decide if she should participate in the "Return to work program"? From the sound of the employer, it sounded like they wanted her to sign even before any Phsyio was done.

Also yeah, they told her that if she doesn't go on the return to work program than they won't hold the job for her and she might lose her job after she comes back. Can they actually do that?
No, you have very little choice when it comes to WCB.

Years ago, I took a job as a delivery driver. This guy was moving to Australia to create rap music, and, as it turned out, sell drugs.

Yeah...this was the type of people that were my co-workers.

Anyway, I'm being trained to do this and I'm working on my own for a few days. Then, this other dude is driving with me.

And he was an asshole. I had to run product in, he doesn't talk to me at all and once, when I'm checking product into a store, I come back and the radio was switched to some other station-sounds stupid, but pissed me off.

So, I finally get pulled into the office.

Turns out, the guy that hired me really shouldn't have. This guy was out on a WCB claim, and they thought it would be a convenient time to fire him and replace him, as he was not liked.

Also turns out you can't do that.

Now...I had been there for just a few weeks. They could have just said bye, and I would have had no recourse.

They offered me 2 weeks in the plant, and 2 weeks pay as compensation, as they had to give him his job back. So, I'm kind of bummed, but at least I'm not fucked in the bum. I had just signed the lease for my first apartment of my own, no room mates.

That's the end of the WCB part.

Then I show up to the plant the next morning. Never worked in a plant before, so I was pretty useless to them. So I got shit work. The shit work sucked, then, on the first day I was there, on a sunny spring day they made me put on full fishing style rain gear in bright yellow. They take me outside to where there is a huge pile of all natural juice bottles, with yeast, waiting to be emptied out. They start exploding, because of course, the yeast has expanded. I start getting pissed.

"fuck this shit!"
"fuck you!"

People are walking by laughing at the kid with tourettes in the fancy rain coat.

Finally I say enough. Peel the rain coat off and I go to the door of the admin office. The woman that had canned me yesterday was in a meeting. I yell at her to meet with me. Tear a fucking strip off her.

She tells me to go home.

By the time I got home, there was a message that said they were just going to pay me out. For a job that paid $12/hour, factoring in the month pay, I made something like $35 per hour.

And friends, that company was Happy Planet juice, and in that meeting would have been Gregor Robertson.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulyZerg View Post
Hey guys,

Long story short, my mom strained her hip and back pretty badly at work and after checking with her family physician, she was recommended to apply for WCB. Than when she gave the WCB forms to her employer, they informed her about the "return to work program" and urged her heavily to sign it. She was also told that if she doesn't sign onto the "return to work program" than her job might be loss when she comes back(won't save the spot for her).

I was wondering if she should sign onto the "return to work program" or not. Her employer seems to really urge her on to sign it and it seems awfully suspicious and feels like their some sort of catch to it, since her employer is petitioning really hard to get her to sign in.

Any tips/advice?

Thanks guys
My mom have the same thing happen to her. However, her empolyee at the time really needed someone to work right away so they hire a temp. When my mom was able to work again her work place ask if she would instead willingly be let go since the like the temp guy more (I guess he could perform better).

My mom took that options since she wanted to retire anyways and her back injuries never really heal 9parement injuired) so she got some compensation from her workplace.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:09 AM   #11
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You're kidding?! Wow...yeah, her family doctor(she hasn't seen the physio yet, she'll see him/her tomorrow) didn't tell her about the program but instead the employer told her about the program and would want her on it, just in case people start "milking" it as the employer said or maybe in the past, others have just milked the WCB benefits etc and they also said, so this way, they can monitor her.

So she would or should hold off on signing the "Return to work program" until she does a few sessions of Physio? Than decide if she should participate in the "Return to work program"? From the sound of the employer, it sounded like they wanted her to sign even before any Phsyio was done.

Also yeah, they told her that if she doesn't go on the return to work program than they won't hold the job for her and she might lose her job after she comes back. Can they actually do that?
Most companies will have some sort of light/modified duties for their return to work program.
While you mom is still injured and has yet to see physio, there really isn't anything wrong with signing the RTW papers as long as the company didn't hide anything in the fine print. Nothing wrong with returning to work for modified duties as long as it doesn't require her to use her injuried parts.
In her case, it was her back and hip but that doesn't mean she can't sit in a chair and do office administrative work.

At one point in time, I worked at SuperStore and I remember people on light duties were sorting the packing slips in numerical order. Once that was completed, the stack of papers was dumped on the ground and they were asked to sort the papers again.

As for losing her job, the company can go right ahead and use that as a scare tactic but the reality is that they CANNOT do that. Just like a person who goes on maturity leave.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JulyZerg View Post
You're kidding?! Wow...yeah, her family doctor(she hasn't seen the physio yet, she'll see him/her tomorrow) didn't tell her about the program but instead the employer told her about the program and would want her on it, just in case people start "milking" it as the employer said or maybe in the past, others have just milked the WCB benefits etc and they also said, so this way, they can monitor her.

So she would or should hold off on signing the "Return to work program" until she does a few sessions of Physio? Than decide if she should participate in the "Return to work program"? From the sound of the employer, it sounded like they wanted her to sign even before any Phsyio was done.

Also yeah, they told her that if she doesn't go on the return to work program than they won't hold the job for her and she might lose her job after she comes back. Can they actually do that?
As stated by the others the return to work program is just that, a program which has modified duties(not the regular day-to-day work she was performing) It consists of lighter duties which do not put as much a strain on her body or injuries. If she feels she is able to perform these modified duties then yes go ahead and enroll in the return to work program.

The thing that concerns me is that her employer is asking her to take part in a back to work program, when it should be a) her doctor/physiotherapist or b) WCB....the employer should only have their hand in the BWT program once the decision for her to return to work has taken place.

Sometimes WCB will enroll you in a "back to work type program" with a physiotherapy clinic. For example here in Surrey there is the Canadian Back Institute which has physiotherapists who perform physio, and kinesiologists and other professionals. They offer a back to work type of program were you go in for 4 hours 5 days a week and perform exercises to get you back to were you were before the injury occurred. Exercises include walking, stretching, yoga, swimming etc.. They also sit down with you and ask what are the duties you performed at work. So lets say your mom lifted packages...they would make her start off with lifting a basket off the ground, then add weight and so on. So you see it is getting her used to the duties she performed at work.

I can kind of see where the employer is coming from in regards to people do fake injuries or blow them out of proportion in order to get some compensation and "vacation"...but this is not for them to decide. It is up to WCB to determine if your mom is faking or "milking" as the employer put it.

Like I said previously contact your WCB representative and/or your doctor before signing this Back to Work program with the employer. In my opinion the BTW program should be signed with your doctor/physio clinic or WCB, not the employer.
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