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Businesses, Private Investigators and WSIB Surveillance

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Workplace injury, while in decline in Ontario, still happens across the province. Injuries sustained on the job might not seem incredibly common for those who work in an office. However, what happens in situations where an employee requires surgery and recovery time? What happens if an employee works in a warehouse and gets injured when using heavy machinery?

Do you know what happens when an employee gets injured at the workplace, or requires time off from work for severe illness (in Ontario)? If not, here’s your chance to learn a little more about the types of benefits available to employees. It’s also your chance to learn what happens when those benefits are abused and private investigators get called in to run surveillance to try and help make things right.

Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

The WSIB is the organization responsible for taking care of workman’s compensation as well as no-fault insurance for the province of Ontario. A company or business in Ontario must provide employees with this benefit and coverage if the company is or has an:

  • Officer in a company who works in construction
  • Independent Operator
  • Partner in a Business Partnership
  • Sole Proprietor

When an employee is injured on the job or at the workplace, he or she is eligible to make a claim with the WSIB. These claims help the company to keep their employee during any potential recovery time. The WSIB will look at an employee claim and determine whether or not they require payment for time off due to injury. The WSIB will also determine how many weeks the employee can take off from work.

It’s important to note that payments from the WSIB only go up to a percentage of the employee’s current pay. The WSIB also limits the number of weeks an employee can take off from work to recover.

WSIB and Fraud

Although it doesn’t happen often, some individuals in Ontario make false claims to the WSIB. The problem with this is that the WSIB provides services to employees who truly need to take time off work due to series illness or injury. For example, what happens if an employee injures or even loses a leg while inspecting workplace equipment? That employee will need time to heal, which means that they will not be able to work for a certain period of time.

By paying into the WSIB, the company provides insurance and security for that employee. Since the injury occurred at the workplace, that employee can make a claim through the WSIB. Through the WSIB, they will also receive up to 85% of their pay while they recover. This helps the employee to make ends meet until they can return to work.

So, let’s say that an employee decides to lie about their injury, or the extent of their injuries. What happens when they claim money from the WSIB? Well, the answer is simple. This is considered fraud, and if caught, the employee can face serious consequences.

Ultimately, when an employee lies about their claim, both the company and the WSIB lose money. That money is important, as it deserves to go to someone who deserves it, not an individual who just wants to take advantage of the system.

Why Hire a Private Investigator?

In situations where a company or the WSIB believes that their employee is lying about their claim, a private investigator is often called in to help.

A private investigator is a trained professional, who specializes in uncovering the facts. When a business hires a private investigator to tackle a WSIB case, it is that private investigators job to use her or his skills to find out whether or not an employee is lying about their injuries.

It might surprise you to know that businesses, including the WSIB, hire private investigators to monitor fraud. There are a couple of reasons why the WSIB in particular hires private investigators. First of all, a private investigator has the skills required to set up surveillance without getting caught. Secondly, if a business sent out their HR manager to check in on an employee, that employee would immediately change their actions. They would appear sick and injured. Why? Well, the employee knows their HR manager. The HR manager is a friendly face, and the employee would know the company is checking in on them. Having an unknown professional running the surveillance investigation generates more accurate results.

What is Surveillance?

In a situation where a business hires a private investigator to uncover fraud for the WSIB, a private investigator will most likely offer surveillance services. Surveillance is the act of watching an individual as they go about their day. As the individual does not know someone is watching, he or she will act as they would naturally. It is from this natural state that a private investigator can determine whether or not the employee is lying on their claim.

When a private investigator conducts surveillance he or she will require a bit of information. First and foremost he or she will want to know more about the individual, including where they live. The private investigator will then come up with a plan or approach. This is extremely important as successful surveillance relies on the private investigator not being seen by the employee.

In WSIB fraud cases, private investigators often run surveillance from their car. The private investigator will park their vehicle close to the employee’s house. From their position, they will watch the residence and take note of the employee’s actions. If, for example, the employee claims to have a severe back injury and is seen lifting their children, or climbing a ladder to paint the trim on the house, these actions will appear in the private investigator’s report.

Private Investigation: Benefits to the Business

While the upfront expense of hiring a private investigator might seem expensive, the results are worth every penny.

If, as a business, you catch an employee lying about a claim, it is within your rights to take legal action. You can fire the employee, and the WSIB can fine him or her up to $25,000 CAD and/or 6 months jail time.

Overall, it is in the interest of any business to keep an eye on suspicious employees. When evidence presents itself about an injured employee who isn’t honest about their current situation, why not find out for sure? Working with a private investigator will only give peace of mind to the business as well as the WSIB.

Does your business need our surveillance services? Contact us today for more to speak to one of our qualified investigators! or (416) 479 8474

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