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The Workplace Safety and Information Board (W.S.I.B) is the organization responsible for working with individuals who have incurred an injury while on the job. The WSIB ensures that these injured workers are adequately supported with the resources to aid their recovery (such as physiotherapy, massage therapy, or chiropractic care), are being financially compensated while they recuperate, and still have a job to return to following their recovery.
While protecting the best interests of the injured employee, the WSIB also actively monitors the individual, ensuring that they follow all legal processes and return to work as soon as they are able. This is an effort to reduce the likelihood of fraud, in which an employee misuses the WSIB insurance and/or the support offered through the employer. In this respect, the organization has the dual responsibility of protecting employees, as well as employers.
In the case of an employee or employer misusing WSIB compensation, the WSIB will investigate the offense, often relying upon the assistance of some additional eyes on the ground to gather evidence to support the claim. Below, we explore some of the ways experienced Private Investigators are able to provide surveillance and investigative support to the WSIB, protecting the needs of employees AND employers:
Investigating Corrupt Employers
The WSIB serves as a meaningful benefit to employees across Ontario, ensuring that in the event that you are injured in the workplace, your employer is legally obligated to report an accident to the WSIB, and hold your position until you are fit to return to work. There is also various forms of financial commitment every Employer must be responsible for.
Unfortunately, some employers disregard the needs of their employees by failing to report a workplace incident or actively discouraging the employee from filing their claim. In other cases, businesses seek out loopholes in the system to unjustly terminate an injured employee. Being left injured and unemployed can significantly impact the ability of some individuals to support their family or put food on the table.
Thankfully, a Private Investigator can help in the fight to seek justice from an unempathetic and unjust employer. Using a combination of surveillance, witness testimonials, and other investigative tactics, an experienced Private Investigator can help you collect the evidence necessary to take your case to court and prove that you were withheld the compensation you deserve, or fired without cause.
Investigating Exaggerated Symptoms
In select cases, the WSIB will receive calls from employers suspecting that their injured employee may be exaggerating symptoms to increase their allowable time away from work, or in more some cases, may have not endured any injury at all. Known as WSIB Fraud, this allows the employee to unfairly collect financial compensation, scamming the system.
In these cases, the WSIB will employ the services of a Private Investigator team to perform surveillance upon the suspected subject, and possibly dig into their history by means of a background check. This can reveal any prior instances of workplace injury claims or any other prolonged periods off work.
Additional Employment in Tandem with WSIB Compensation
Failure to report all employment income while receiving WSIB benefits is prohibited under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Therefore if an injured employee is suspected of working while collecting their WSIB compensation, an investigation will follow. A Private Investigator Team specializing in this niche type of fraud can build a souls case through surveillance, background checks, and witness reports. A collection of evidence to prove or disprove that an employee may be double-dipping while continuing to collect support payments can be very beneficial to seizing payment of fraudulent claims.
Investigating Service Providers
Sometimes Private Investigators may be called upon to investigate a form of WSIB Fraud in which the subject in question is neither the employee nor employer, but rather a corrupt health care provider. If a health care provider is suspected of intentionally billing for services that were never provided, or provide a falsified medical report to an employer, they can be convicted under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Private Investigators can perform undercover surveillance or record searching, to produce evidence of such acts which can be presented by the WSIB to the appropriate regulatory body.
Following a WSIB Investigation
In all workplace injury investigations, the Private Investigator prepares a detailed report for the WSIB, including all secured video and still photography, time-stamped evidence to be used within a WSIB hearing.
What happens next?
Generally, the penalty is dependent upon the extent of the fraud. In the case of a fraudulent employee claim, the WSIB will determine whether to terminate/reduce benefits or request the employee to pay back any compensation paid beyond the defined period of the actual injury.
Should an employee or employer be convicted under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, the penalties can be more severe, including fines of up to $100,000 (or up to $500,000 for corporations) and/or jail time of six months per offense.
Should you suspect that an employee or employer may be committing WSIB fraud, or any other offense related to a workplace injury, reach out to our Trusted Team of Corporate Investigation Experts at Star Quality Private Investigations. With over two decades of experience in investigating a broad range of workplace-related fraud, including WSIB fraud, our Team will empower you with the knowledge and confidence to report any suspected acts.