Calling in sick for 3 weeks grows stale

Employee argued employer knew of his back troubles and new medical documentation wasn't necessary
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 10/03/2012

An Ontario employer was entitled to fire an employee who didn’t reply to a request for medical documentation after three weeks of calling in sick, an arbitrator has ruled.

Peter Morin was a warehouse worker for Sobey’s Retail Support Centre in Milton, Ont, hired in March 2003. In early 2012, Sobey’s became concerned with Morin’s attendance. He called in sick many times, often without providing medical documents. The collective agreement stipulated that employment could be terminated when an employee was absent from work because of illness and didn’t provide a medical certificate. The agreement also provided cause for dismissal if an employee was absent without authorization for three scheduled work days without a valid reason.

On April 9, 2012, Morin called in sick using the company’s call-in system. He missed all 16 of his shifts over the next three weeks, calling in sick each day, but no medical documentation was provided. During this time, Morin worked 15 shifts at another job.