A Socio-Legal Ethnography of the Experiences of Injured Workers with Deeming and Re-Employment

Principal Investigator: Garry Gray

Co-Investigators: Ellen MacEachen, Emile Tompa, Marion Endicott

Research Assistant: none yet assigned

Community Involvement: One of the co-investigators, Marion Endicott, is a community legal worker who works at Injured Workers' Consultants. Additionally, the project will have an advisory committee consisting of representatives from the injured worker community that will meet several times over the course of the study. We will seek feedback from the advisory committee on the findings, analysis and the final report.

Project Abstract: Although much research has been conducted on early and safe return to work, very little is known about situations when the return is not early and or to the pre-injury employer. When workers are deemed to be able to earn a wage, they are considered employable and often return to work by seeking re-employment in the general labour market. Deeming was legislatively introduced on the assumption that it provides a work incentive for the re-employment of injured worker. Therefore, a worker is deemed to be employable regardless of whether they have been re-employed. The objective of this study is to gain an understanding of how deeming is carried out and of the particular challenges and opportunities in the deeming process. Drawing on a socio-legal approach, which examines legislation and policy at the level of everyday practice and experience, we will study direct injured worker and service provider experiences of deeming. We will locate these experiences of legislation and policy across different regions of Ontario. In so doing, we will identify areas of possibility and concern for the successful re-integration of deemed workers back into the workforce with fair compensation.

Project References: Project proposal submitted for funding to the WSIB-RAC, February 2008.

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Financial security & employment experience

Phase 1 Projects

Concepts of compensation adequacy

Inventory/catalogue of data sources

Study of barriers to claims filing

Labour-market earnings and financial security

Literature review of research on labour-market experiences and financial security

Complex Claims Study

Role of Health Care Providers in Complex Claims

Labour-Market Re-Entry Study

A Socio-Legal Ethnography of the Experiences of Injured Workers with Deeming and Re-Employment

Development of a Green Light and Red Flag Toolkit for Persistent Claims