Depressed Worker Reinstated

Fired for her apparent unwillingness to participate in a prescribed accommodation/rehabilitation plan, a worker was reinstated after a post termination medical exam indicated that depression and anxiety were complicating factors in her return to work.
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/09/2011

Employed by an electrical utility, M.M. was hired in 2001 as a civil maintainer. Following an injury suffered in March, 2007, M.M. was absent from work — except for a couple of partial days — until she was fired on August 28, 2008.

An Independent Medical Examination (IME) undertaken on May 28, 2008 declared her fit to return to work on a graduated basis, contingent on her participation in a rehabilitation program consisting of physiotherapy, referrals to a psychologist and a pain management clinic. Having missed a number of return-to-work meetings to discuss her situation, M.M. attended a meeting July 29 to discuss her return. At that meeting she raised her concerns about getting to work because of her inability to drive since her injury. The employer responded that the IME mentioned no restrictions on her driving and that, in any case, transportation was her responsibility. Her return to work was then scheduled for July 31, 2008.