Worker’s misuse of bereavement leave misconduct – but well-intentioned

Death of Ontario worker’s mother’s friend not covered under leave provision
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 05/16/2016

An Ontario arbitrator has reinstated a worker who was fired for the misuse of her collective agreement’s bereavement leave provision, finding the worker didn’t intend to violate her employer’s trust.

Michelle Desbiens, 53, was a gaming administration clerk at Caesars Windsor Casino in Windsor, Ont. Hired in 1994, her duties included recording sick calls, leave entries, scheduling, making adjustments to payroll entries and answering employee inquiries.

Desbiens' position required her to be familiar with booking time off work and requirements for vacations and other types of leave, to the point where she often made her own personal leave requests on a call-in basis with her supervisor.