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A Cardigan restaurant owner feels he has been unfairly ordered to pay compensation for a former employee who reported being injured on the job months after the fact.
John MacDonald says he was shocked to receive in the mail in March a notice from the Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I. that the board had ruled in favour of a woman who worked for MacDonald in 2017 and 2018 cutting and cooking lobsters at Cardigan Lobster Suppers.
He was ordered to pay close to $1,000 to cover an MRI the woman underwent.
MacDonald says the woman, who he describes as being strong, claims she re-injured her shoulder last year in late July or early August while lifting a 50-pound bag of potatoes.
He notes lifting the 50-pound bags of potatoes was part of her required duties.
He says the woman never mentioned to him or any other staff that she had injured herself.
She filed her claim with the Workers Compensation Board, he adds, three months after “her so-called incident.’’
“It just doesn’t seem right to me. So, I wanted to appeal it.’’
-John MacDonald, Cardigan Lobster Suppers owner
MacDonald has appealed the decision and is waiting for a date to be set to hear the appeal.
“It just doesn’t seem right to me,’’ he says.
“So, I wanted to appeal it.’’
MacDonald says the woman left on good terms after working until the restaurant closed for the season in 2018.
He says she had not mentioned being injured or experiencing pain, nor did she raise any complaint about her job.
Laura Steeves, a spokeswoman with the Workers Compensation Board of P.E.I., says the WCB is not able to speak to claim decisions due to privacy reasons.
Instead, the board offered the following general statement:
“The WCB strives to make timely and fair claim decisions based on legislation, policy and the weight of claim file evidence. Any worker or employer has the right to appeal a decision of the Workers Compensation Board. If a worker, employer or their representative do not understand or agree with a decision of the WCB, there are several points of recourse.
"The worker, employer or their representative can make a request for reconsideration of a decision to the WCB Internal Reconsideration Officer. All requests for internal reconsideration must be submitted to the WCB, in writing, within 90 days of the date of notification of the decision.
"If the person is not satisfied with a decision of the Internal Reconsideration Officer, a notice of appeal can be filed with the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT). The final recourse available is an appeal to the PEI Supreme Court of Appeal.’’