Canadian Employment Law Today

October 24, 2018

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian October 24, 2018 No job abandonment, but just cause for dismissal Worker provided limited medical information for long-term absence, but refused employer's request for information on functional abilities or restrictions BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A NOVA SCOTIA worker didn't abandon her job when she failed to provide medical information supporting her long-term ab- sence, but her employer had just cause to dismiss her because of that failure, the Nova Scotia Labour Board has ruled. Nancy MacInnis was hired to work as an accounts payable clerk for the Town of West- ville, N.S., in April 2009. Her duties included managing the town's accounts and sharing counter work with other employees. She worked without any problems for more than six years until Dec. 9, 2015, when she had to take time off work due to an injury suff ered at work — an injury that was related to a pre- existing condition. MacInnis began an ease-back program in which she gradually returned to work, start- ing in October 2016. By the spring of 2017, she was working full-time hours but wasn't performing full-time duties. She was able to perform the tasks she was assigned without complaint and continued in the program as she gradually acclimatized herself to the job. In April 2017, the town's chief adminis- trative offi cer (CAO) learned of a workers' compensation decision in which MacIn- nis had appealed for entitlement to benefi ts from the period of her injury to the start of her ease-back program — Dec. 9, 2015 to Oct. 24, 2016. e decision — which allowed MacInnis' appeal — contained information that had not been previously available to the town, namely that a discharge report had Lack of ergonomic furniture could be disability discrimination Discrimination complaint stemming from request for ergonomic furniture has enough merit for a hearing: Tribunal BY JEFFREY R. SMITH THE BRITISH COLUMBIA Human Rights Tribunal has rejected a union's ap- plication to dismiss an employee's com- plaint of disability and sex discrimination based on its failure to provide ergonomic furniture for the employee. Linelle Mogado was an in-house counsel for Unite Here, Local 40, a small union in B.C. representing hospital workers in Van- couver that was affi liated with the Unite Here International Union. Hired in January 2015, Mogado was four feet, eleven inches tall and had a history of muscle tension in her neck. In order to avoid developing symptoms in her neck, she required spe- cialized equipment and a particular setup at her workstation. During her interview with the president of Unite Here, Mogado told him she wanted to Employer wins fi ght over termination pay entitlement pg. 3 Investigator, adjudicator determined worker wasn't in construction industry, but court found termination pay exemption applied Employer's self-preservation instinct leads to wrongful dismissal pg. 4 Company accused worker of theft and fraud, but didn't investigate WORKER on page 6 » MEDICAL CERTIFICATES on page 7 » CREDIT: MARCIN BALCERZAK/SHUTTERSTOCK with Tim Mitchell Ask the Expert pg. 2 Recruiting precautions to avoid inducement claims

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