Canadian Employment Law Today

April 12, 2017

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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Canadian HR Reporter, a Thomson Reuters business 2017 him with light duty work and he soon missed two of his shifts. Pacific Metals had no medi- cal documentation indicating ah required accommodation, though a chiropractor's discharge report dated Feb. 24 stated he was working full hours on modified duties. On Jan. 30, ah's supervisor emailed ah's union representative saying he didn't believe ah was able to work full-time due to his July 2014 car accident. He requested the union find ah employment elsewhere so Pacific Metals could hire a new torchman that was capable of working full-time. How- ever, the union didn't take action and ah continued to work as a torchman. In late April 2015, ah missed two shifts. He called the operation manager to advise him he was unable to attend work. e manager asked for a doctor's note as well as several other questions. ah claimed not to understand the questions, so he hung up. e operations manager lat- er said he didn't remember receiving such a phone call from ah. Two days later, on April 29, ah's supervi- sor contacted the union representative, this time saying ah was absent without notice and further absences would lead to "esca- lating consequences." e supervisor also emailed ah to tell him that he had been absent without notifying the company — a violation of company policy — and gave him a first warning under the discipline process. Pacific Metals still hadn't heard from ah by May 1, so it suspended him without pay. When ah received a voice message in- forming him of the suspension, he didn't try to return to work or contact Pacific Metals. By May 7, with still no contact from ah, Pacific Metals terminated his employment for absence without leave. ah didn't re- spond to the memo advising him of the ter- mination, but he later filed a human rights complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of physical disability and arguing the company should have accommodated him. e tribunal found that when ah re- turned to work in October 2014, his medi- cal information indicated he was cleared to work full-time on full duties. e same was the case when he returned again in January 2015. e only information Pacific Metals had was that ah was capable of working full-time on his regular duties and there was no official indication that he required ac- commodation, said the tribunal. e tribunal also found that when Pacific Metals asked ah for more information af- ter he seemed to be having trouble, there was no evidence ah provided any additional information or even visited his doctor for an evaluation. When he stopped showing up for work in April 2015, there was no medical evidence to support his absence or that he needed accommodation. e tribunal found Pacific Metals fulfilled its duty to enquire about ah's condition when it tried to contact him during his ab- sences. Even after learning he was suspend- ed without pay, ah didn't take steps to follow up or submit medical information to support his absences. e consistent thread throughout the process was that ah didn't respond to the company's efforts to remedy the problem of his absences. e tribunal determined that there was "no reasonable prospect that Mr. ah could succeed in establishing the requisite nexus between his disability and the adverse im- pacts he alleges" and dismissed the com- plaint. See ah v. Pacific Metals, 2017 Car- swellBC 346 (B.C. Human Rights Trib.). Canadian Employment Law Today | 7 More Cases « from DISAPPEARING on page 1 Worker's doctor cleared him for full duties STAY ON TOP OF THE LATEST TRENDS IN HR VISIT HRREPORTER.COM TODAY Featuring a blend of breaking news, in-depth analysis and opinion from industry experts, is a go-to resource for the human resources community.

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