Employee takes day off despite denied request

Worker went to doctor's appointment anyway after initial request refused
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/31/2012

This instalment of You Make the Call features an employee who was terminated for being absent from work after having a day off denied.

Anthony Portelli worked for Kruger Inc., a pulp and paper company in Brampton, Ont. In May 2011, Kruger and its union were in the process of bargaining to renew their collective agreement. As a result, the process for employees requesting a leave of absence or vacation was being centrally reviewed by the plant engineer, rather than going to supervisors. At the time, there was a breakdown in talks and the union was on a work-to-rule campaign where workers were refusing overtime.

On May 16, Portelli requested a leave of absence for May 19 because he had an appointment with a specialist for ankle pain he had been experiencing. The appointment was in the middle of his shift, so he wouldn’t have time to clean up, change and travel to the appointment and back without taking the entire day off. He told his supervisor he had appointments, but was not specific. The supervisor gave him forms to fill out, but they were the wrong forms that didn’t have a space to put the reason for the request. Portelli filled out the forms anyway with the times and date requested.