Safety & HCM Post

OK to Fire Jailed Employee for Not Calling In & Explaining Absence

On Aug. 2, a hospital employee with 25+ years of service was arrested on serious criminal charges. Although he was on vacation at the time, the employee couldn’t return to work on Aug. 7 because he was still in jail. After 2 weeks of not hearing from him, the hospital invoked the policy allowing for termination of employees that miss 3 or more consecutive days without notification and a satisfactory reason. While admitting that he never told the hospital he was in jail, the employee noted that his wife had left a voice mail requesting a leave of absence. He also claimed the hospital didn’t warn him that his job was in jeopardy. The Ontario arbitrator ruled that termination was justified given what the hospital knew when it made the decision. A single voice mail from the wife wasn’t enough, especially since leaves of absence requests had to be in writing. And the “deemed termination” clause didn’t require a warning. The employee knew the rules and deliberately chose to avoid the hospital and hide the fact that he was in custody, the arbitrator concluded [Humber River Hospital v Teamsters, Local Union 419, 2019 CanLII 41038 (ON LA), May 9, 2019].

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

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