Lifelabs - Your entitlements around sick-leave, appointments, and workers compensation benefits - BCGEU

Several cases have arisen recently where there has been confusion or misinformation about workers' rights regarding sick leave, appointments, and workers compensation benefits that the Union would like to clarify. If you experience any pressure from your manager to work when you are sick or to not file a WCB claim, please contact the Union.

Sick Leave

If you are sick, you should not be working and should focus on recovering. For employees who work more than 20 hours per week, there is a sick-leave plan which is laid out in Article 16 of the Collective Agreement.

The employer is entitled to reasonable documentation of a medical illness from a medical professional. The documentation should outline what your limitations and restrictions are (e.g. "unable to focus," "unable to sit for extended periods," etc), and what your prognosis is (e.g. "the employee is following a treatment plan and will be able to work in two weeks"). The amount of medical information the Employer is entitled to is based on the seriousness of the illness. For example, it is quite possibly unreasonable for a manager to ask for a doctor's note for a one-day illness, but if an employee is off work for several weeks, there are forms that will need to be filled out and submitted to the Employer's health insurance provider.

Medical Appointments

It is an expectation laid out in the collective agreement that workers schedule medical and dentist appointments outside of regularly scheduled worker hours when they can. If it is not possible, the Employer has agreed to pay up to two hours for those appointments for all regular staff who work more than a 0.6 FTE.

Workers Compensation Benefits

If you are injured at work, you may be entitled to Workers Compensation benefits. You can contact Worksafe at 1-888-WORKERS (1.888.967.5377) to file a claim.

Please contact the Workers Compensation Board as soon as possible if you:

  • Are taken from or leave the jobsite for treatment at a medical facility
  • Miss time from work after the day of the injury
  • Lose consciousness
  • Are diagnosed with a work-related disease
  • Develop symptoms of a mental health disorder related to work or the work environment
  • Suffer broken eyeglasses, dentures, hearing aid or artificial limb due to a work-related incident

There is more information on the Worksafe website here: https://www.worksafebc.com/en/claims/report-workplace-injury-illness

If you have any questions about any of the above, you are encouraged to contact one of your local shop stewards.


Sean Antrim
Staff Representative

Download PDF of notice here