Safety & HCM Post

Firing Employee for Inadequate Doctor’s Note Is Too Harsh

An employee woke up Friday morning feeling lousy and called in sick. He knew he needed a doctor’s note but dangerous winds, power outages and broadcast warnings to stay off the roads kept him in bed the next 2 days. His medical clinic was closed on Sundays. Upon returning to work the next Monday, his supervisor told him he couldn’t come back without a doctor’s note. He went and got one but it wasn’t dated Jan. 5, the actual day he was absent. So, the company fired him for violating its medical note policy. The arbitrator found just cause to discipline for insubordination, especially since this was a repeat offence, but cut the penalty to a 2-week suspension. Is it really necessary to get a sick worker out of bed just so he can get a doctor’s note? The arbitrator also cited the employee’s 10-year service record, positive attitude and earnest attempts to deal with his absences in finding that the inadequate doctor’s note didn’t irrevocably destroy the employment relationship [Unifor, Local 1520 v Maritime Paper Products Limited Partnership, 2018 CanLII 82701 (NS LA), Sept. 9, 2018].


Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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