The WCB Fair Practices Officer (7:X)
The WCB has a Fair Practices Officer (Formerly “Chief Complaints Officer” and before that “Ombudsman”), who has been assigned to deal with issues of alleged unfairness related to the WCA. A claimant who has a complaint about a decision must first pursue all available routes of appeal. The Fair Practices Officer may investigate a complaint after all routes of appeal are exhausted. Individuals or groups with complaints about the fairness of WCB decisions, recommendations, actions, procedures, practices, or regulations may contact the WCB Complaints Officer by phone, fax, mail, or in person.
The WCB Fair Practices Officer should not be confused with the province’s Ombudsman, who still has authority to investigate complaints against the WCB. The BC Ombudsman’s policy is to suggest that all complaints go first to the WCB Chief Complaints Officer, but a worker may ask that the provincial Ombudsman intervene immediately if the Fair Practices Officer is unable to resolve the problem. Advocates are beginning to make more complaints to the BC Ombudsman recently, and students can insist that this be done if the complaint process seems ineffective. See Chapter 5: Public Complaints Procedures.
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