Innocent Absenteeism after Injury Warrants Termination

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/06/2011

Despite the employer’s numerous attempts to accommodate her following a workplace injury, a nurse’s excessive absenteeism undermined the employment relationship such that her termination was justified.

Employed as a nurse at a regional hospital, S.T. suffered a workplace injury on March 18, 1990 when she reflexively grabbed at a drawer of rolodex cards that had fallen unexpectedly after becoming untracked. S.T. wrenched her arm, shoulder and neck. In 1997 she was awarded a non-economic loss award by the provincial compensation board.

Following three surgical procedures, S.T. attempted to return to work in May 2001 following an 18-month period where she was off work because of the injury.