Legal Expense Assistance Plan
The Legal Expense Assistance Plan (LEAP) is a reimbursement program. It is available to eligible members of the Manitoba Nurses Union. LEAP was established in 1991.
MNU members recognize the financial implications for a nurse who faces legal bills after a workplace incident.
Insurance plans offered by nursing licensing bodies will not cover every workplace incident. For example, these insurers will declare a conflict of interest when potential claims are related to complaints made to a professional licensing body.
LEAP was created to help bridge that gap.
LEAP is the responsibility of the MNU Board of Directors and endorsed by MNU members. An MNU Staff Administrator is assigned to process applications. The Executive Committee monitors the operation of LEAP. Decisions about eligibility or coverage can be appealed to the Executive Committee.
Terms of the Plan
A nurse is eligible to apply for LEAP coverage if they are an MNU member in good standing at the time the incident occurs, and when their claim is submitted. A nurse is a member in good standing when they are actively at work, on an authorized leave of absence (paid or unpaid), on Workers’ Compensation benefits, laid off, is dismissed or, in some cases, has resigned.
How to Access the Plan
All members must contact the Manitoba Nurses Union Provincial Office prior to hiring a lawyer. Failure to contact MNU first will make the member ineligible for LEAP. The contact information for LEAP is on the back of this brochure and on the MNU website. When a member contacts the MNU Office, they will be screened to see if they are eligible to apply for LEAP. If they are, the member will receive a LEAP claim form with a unique claim number. Once an MNU member submits the completed LEAP application form and supporting documents to the LEAP Administrator, they will be advised if their claim is approved.
What Does LEAP Cover?
If you are an MNU member in good standing, and an incident occurs during the normal scope of your duties while at work in an MNU bargaining unit position, LEAP covers:
- Professional Discipline
- Protection for Persons in Care Office investigations
- Civil law suits
- Criminal cases
LEAP does not cover any legal expenses for any action which is directed against the Manitoba Nurses Union, its Officers, members, employees or its agents.
MNU reserves the right to amend, suspend or terminate this plan at any time without notice.
How Much Does LEAP Cover?
- Legal expenses only (This means a lawyer’s time, but not amounts for things like retainers, disbursements, file opening fees, court costs or fines.)
- Up to $250 an hour for the lawyer’s billed time
- Up to two claims (incidents) per calendar year
- A maximum of $3000 for the first incident, and $1500 for the second incident
This means that if a nurse is investigated by PPCO and reported to the professional college for the same workplace incident, the nurse can apply for up to $3000 coverage for that incident. The same $3000 can be used to pay for both PPCO and the College complaint. If a nurse is involved in two separate incidents in the same calendar year, they can apply for up to $1500 coverage for the second incident.
When Does LEAP Pay?
LEAP is a reimbursement plan. An eligible MNU member can claim reimbursement once they have incurred the legal expense. In other words, after the lawyer’s bill is paid. LEAP reimbursement payments are processed once a month.