Employer Must Pay for Delay in Accommodating Employee

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/05/2011

For its failure to act on the medical information it had in order to facilitate an employee’s timely return to work, an employer was ordered to pay lost wages.

Two months following a still-birth that terminated her difficult pregnancy, G.S. sought to return to her job as a teaching assistant for a school board. As she was being treated for hypertension, G.S. approached the employer and asked to be reassigned to a school closer to her home in order to lessen the stress associated with commuting.

The board’s Health and Welfare Officer asked G.S. for additional information in support of her accommodation request and in March 2007, her doctor supplied a brief note indicating that she was being treated for hypertension. The note also contained this request: “If possible could the patient have a work location closer to home — for medical reasons.”