Employer’s Refusal to Grant Special Leave Unreasonable

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

Denied special leave to provide palliative care for her ailing 90-year-old mother because her employer said the situation was not catastrophic, a worker grieved.

Employed as a community health representative in the far north, A.P. applied to use the 29 days of special leave she had accumulated under the terms of the collective agreement to help care for her mother who was gravely ill and living in a remote community.

According to normal practice, A.P.’s request for leave longer than five days went from her immediate supervisor to the next supervisor up the chain, who initially approved the request. However, A.P.’s application was later rejected by the health authority’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who referenced the organization’s human resources (HR) policies and approved only 10 days of leave.