Abuse of sick leave ill-informed, not fraudulent

The grievor was attending courses while on sick leave. The arbitrator found that her actions were naïve but not fraudulent. She could have been more honest but she was receiving benefits legitimately.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/22/2011

A worker was fired for fraudulent use of sick leave after the employer discovered that she had completed a training course while on sick leave and nominally completely disabled. The union grieved, arguing that there was no intent to deceive the employer.

A.O. had 13 years’ service as a Resident Assistant at a care facility when she was fired on August 28, 2009.

The job could be physically demanding. A.O. had a low back injury and she also suffered from a number of chronic medical conditions, including hypertension and depression. She had been advised to seek less physically demanding work and was exploring a number of retraining options. A.O.’s manager told her that educational leave was an option but that sufficient notice would be required.