Employer partly liable for return-to-work delay

The grievor was on a short illness leave near Christmas. Between her inability to find a physician to certify her fitness and the insurer’s inability to process the form, her return to work was delayed. The arbitrator found that one-third was the employer’s fault and two-thirds her’s.
By Mark Rogers
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 08/26/2011

When her attempt to return to work following a brief illness was delayed by the employer’s insistence that she be certified as fit to return to work by the employer’s benefits insurer, the worker grieved.

A Certified Health Professional, Mrs. A was employed on a regular part-time basis to operate health clinics for students. Mrs. A travelled to schools on her own and set up clinics, which would usually last one day.

On December 7, 2006, Mrs. A became ill and left work in the middle of the afternoon. Aware of the difficulty of securing an appointment with her family doctor, Mrs. A went instead to a walk-in clinic. The clinic doctor advised Mrs. A to take a week off work. She was given a note to that effect, stating that she would be fit to return to work on December 14.