Canadian Employment Law Today

April 13, 2016

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 April 13, 2016 Brief doctor's notes not enough to prove disability AN ALBERTA arbitration panel has upheld the dismissal of a stressed health care worker for not providing suffi cient medical infor- mation supporting her absence from work. Beverly Rose was a nursing attendant for the Alberta Health Service (AHS). Her em- ployment began in 1998 and she worked at a hospital in Calgary before transferring in August 2013 to the South Health Campus at the Inpatient Women's Health Unit. In the fall and winter of 2013, AHS identi- fi ed some problems with Rose's job perfor- mance and began an evaluation. AHS as- signed a nurse preceptor to work with Rose, but her performance still didn't improve and AHS recognized that Rose was fi nding it stressful to work in the unit. One day, Rose was late for work due to bad weather and she was suspended because of it. She started feeling micromanaged and bullied by her manager, which added to stress she was experiencing due to fi nancial diffi culties in her personal life. On Jan. 7, 2014, Rose attended a perfor- mance review to discuss AHS's concerns over the job she was doing. She was then off sick the next day and didn't return. Rose supplied a medical note on Jan. 13, which explained she was "absent due to med- ical reasons" from Jan. 13 to Jan. 21. e note was from a doctor who wasn't Rose's regular family physician, who was away. AHS didn't feel the note provided an adequate explana- tion for Rose's absence and informed her on Jan. 21 that further medical information was needed to support an application for ben- efi ts. Rose was on unpaid sick leave because she had used up her existing paid sick leave. Rose provided another note, this one from her regular physician, saying she was "un- fi t for work due to medical reasons until 1 March 2014." AHS sent her paperwork for a short-term disability application, which was sent to the benefi ts provider on Feb. 7. e medical information in the application in- dicated a diagnosis of depression caused by diffi culty in the workplace with symptoms that appeared on Jan. 20, and an expected return-to-work date of March 1. e benefi ts provider rejected the ben- efi ts claim on the grounds that Rose's alleged cause of her condition wasn't evidence of a No discrimination when accommodation options are frustrated: Arbitrator Worker was unable to continue with two separate return-to-work plans; information indicated old job duties weren't feasible BY JEFFREY R. SMITH A BRITISH COLUMBIA employer had the right to dismiss an employee who was no longer able to work her regular job because of a disability, an arbitrator has ruled. Sun-Rype products is a Kelowna, B.C.- based manufacturer of juice and other products based on fruits and vegetables. Since 2002, Sun-Rype's collective agreement with its union included an article covering employee absences that stipulated any em- ployee absent from work for 12 months con- tinuously would be moved to the bottom of the seniority list and categorized as inactive. If the employee was able to return to work, she would be returned to her old spot on the seniority list and keep her position. e collective agreement also allowed employees receiving long-term disability benefi ts to continue to be eligible for health benefi ts and would not be terminated. ere Unsafe trucker sent down the road pg. 3 Truck driver's unsafe driving and poor attitude validated employer's safety concerns with Brian Johnston CREDIT: FIRMA V/SHUTTERSTOCK Back to compliance basics pg. 4 5 employment standards compliance traps that commonly create risks ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Relocation and constructive dismissal WORKER on page 7 » MULTIPLE on page 6 »

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