Taking a trip while on sick leave warrants dismissal: Board

Employee wasn't honest about whereabouts during sick leave
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 06/01/2011

An Ontario employer who fired an employee who went on a trip while on sick leave had just cause for dismissal, the Ontario Arbitration Board has ruled.

An employee named W. Balsor worked for the Niagara Catholic District School Board and was involved in the union. On April 30, 2009, Balsor applied for a leave of absence for May 8 to prepare for a round of mediation. On the same day, she saw a doctor who diagnosed her with a “mechanical strain” in her left heel, which was causing her pain. The doctor wrote a medical note saying Balsor should be off work between May 1 and May 7.

According to Balsor, her husband received a call on May 2 inviting him to Chicago for a business venture he had been pursuing. Her husband did not want to leave her alone while she recovered from her foot problem, so she went along, stretched out in the back seat of the car. While her husband was in Chicago, Balsor stayed with her sister in a nearby town, where she said she rested her foot and iced it. A friend of her sister’s who was a doctor looked at the foot while she was there.