MGEU presses for presumptive WCB coverage for workers
“These Manitobans are putting their health at greater risk to make sure our Province keeps moving and stays resilient in the face of the pandemic…In the event that they contract COVID-19, they must be reassured WCB benefits will be there to support them."
Apr 02, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic in Manitoba took the next big turn this week with new cases of community transmission being reported.
MGEU members are looking for additional measures from their employers and the government to protect their health and their employment.
Earlier this week, MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky sent a letter to the Finance Minister to help anyone who contracts the virus at work. The letter echoes the call from the Manitoba Federation of Labour for the provincial government and Workers Compensation of Manitoba (WCB) to provide presumptive coverage for all Manitoba workers who may become infected with COVID-19 through the course of their employment.This would mean that if a worker in Manitoba is exposed to COVID-19, the WCB can presume their COVID-19 related injury is caused by the worker's employment, unless the contrary is proven.
“Many brave Manitobans are stepping up, whether caring for us in the health care system, providing childcare, or ensuring necessities like food and other goods and services are available,” Gawronsky said in the letter.
Manitobans are putting their health at greater risk to make sure our Province
keeps moving and stays resilient in the face of the pandemic… In the event that
they contract COVID-19, they must be reassured WCB benefits will be there to
support them. They need to know that they will maintain their employment and
that they can continue providing for their families during these trying times.”
Any MGEU member who feels their workplace is unsafe, or feels additional protective measures are needed, should first speak with their supervisor and then their Workplace Safety and Health Rep if the issue is not resolved.
The Workplace Safety and Health Act gives
employees the right to refuse particular work if they believe on reasonable
grounds that the work constitutes a danger to their safety or health.
However, the work refusal process that may result from COVID-19 concerns is no
different than it would be in any other situation: You should immediately
speak with your supervisor or manager to explain your concern and explore
appropriate ways to mitigate the risk.
For more information about
COVID-19 WCB claims or what to do if you have had contact with someone at work
who tested positive for COVID-19, please review the FAQs on the MGEU’s
COVID-19 Info page.
MGEU members can also contact the
Resource Centre. In the event our
RC staff are not able to answer your questions, your staff representative, as
well as our MGEU Workplace Safety and Health, or Workers Compensation expert
are available as a resource.
This story was posted on April 2, 2020. Because this situation is evolving rapidly, we encourage you to visit the MGEU's COVID-19 Information page for the latest information