The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration has
warned U.S. employers that some safety incentive programs might
discourage workers from reporting injuries, and therefore might
"discriminate" against workers who wish to exercise their
legal right to report injuries to their employer.
"For example, an employer might enter all employees who
have not been injured in the previous year in a drawing to win a
prize, or a team of employees might be awarded a bonus if no one
from the team is injured over some period of time. Such programs
might be well-intentioned efforts by employers to encourage their
workers to use safe practices. However, there are better ways to
encourage safe work practices, such as incentives that promote
worker participation in safety-related activities, such as
identifying hazards or participating in investigations of injuries,
incidents or 'near misses'."
OSHA's pronouncement on safety incentives does not legally
apply to employers in Ontario. However, Ontario employers should
consider whether their safety incentive programs could discourage
employees from reporting injuries to the employer and/or to the
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (resulting in potential issues
for the employer with the WSIB) or could lead to a reprisal
complaint under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety
Act ("I lost my safety bonus because I reported a safety
incident to my employer").
FMC is one of Canada's leading business and litigation law
firms with more than 500 lawyers in six full-service offices
located in the country's key business centres. We focus on
providing outstanding service and value to our clients, and we
strive to excel as a workplace of choice for our people. Regardless
of where you choose to do business in Canada, our strong team of
professionals possess knowledge and expertise on regional, national
and cross-border matters. FMC's well-earned reputation for
consistently delivering the highest quality legal services and
counsel to our clients is complemented by an ongoing commitment to
diversity and inclusion to broaden our insight and perspective on
our clients' needs. Visit:
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).