An injured migrant worker has launched a Human Rights complaint against the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, claiming the agency did nothing to help him.
Robert Sulph also claims the WSIB discriminates against injured migrant workers.
The 51 year old is a 24 year veteran of the farm worker program. He suffered life threatening injuries on the job when a malfunctioning saw sliced his carotid artery.
The complaint claims the WSIB knew Sulph was returning to his home in Jamaica, but did not lay out the ground work for his care. Sulph has fallen into poverty and ill-health, and is largely unable to work due to his injury.
In April of 2015, his file was closed, with the WSIB explanation that no further action would be taken.
The complaint maintains by not providing equitable health care services to migrant workers, the WSIB perpetuates harmful race-based stereotypes, and engages in systemic and adverse effects discrimination based on disability, race, ethnicity, place of origin and citizenship.
“The WSIB doesn’t care about us getting treatment or recovering from our injuries. I grew food for Ontarians for 24 years before I almost died on the job. It’s not right that the WSIB treats migrant workers like our health doesn’t matter. We are treated like we are disposable when we are no longer useful to Canada.” – Ralph Sulph.
“The WSIB does virtually nothing to help injured migrant workers even though they have a legal obligation to. The systemic prejudice the WSIB has against this group of black, disabled, non-citizen workers amounts to discrimination under the Ontario Human Rights Code.” – Jessica Ponting, Community Legal Worker with IAVGO Community Legal Clinic and Sulph’s representative.