Employer obligated to maintain LTD

An Ontario home care company must continue the benefits of an employee on long-term disability (LTD) which were negotiated in its collective agreement with the employee’s union, according to an Ontario Arbitration Board ruling.
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

Patsy Lambert worked for the Home Care Department of Ottawa-Carleton and its successor, the Ottawa Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), from Sept. 4, 1984, to April 9, 1998. On that date, Lambert went on leave from stress and multiple sclerosis. She eventually went on LTD and the CCAC paid for her benefits coverage as stipulated in the collective agreement between CCAC and Lambert’s union, the Ottawa-Carleton Public Employees’ Union, Local 503.

Lambert remained completely disabled and unable to work in any capacity due to her condition. On Jan. 1, 1999, she began receiving disability pensions from three different sources.

Four years later, on May 9, 2003, CCAC sent Lambert a letter stating it was terminating her employment because of her absence from work since April 1998 and the disability pensions she was receiving indicated she was incapable of performing any duties related to her job. The termination would result in the cessation of her LTD benefits, which included extended health and dental coverage. Lambert disputed the termination, claiming it violated the