Fired lifeguard thrown lifeline by arbitration board

Worker was fired after failure to return to work at end of leave; employer’s denial of extension request was unreasonable: Board
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 09/17/2014

A Saskatchewan employer should not have terminated an employee who asked for an extension of leave while overseas, an arbitration board has ruled.

Megan Mellquist, 19, was hired by Temple Gardens Mineral Spa in Moose Jaw, Sask., in early 2011. Lifeguards were employed by Temple Gardens to monitor the safety of customers who use the facility’s outdoor mineral water pool and spa. One lifeguard was required for every 50 people in the pool, so if there weren’t enough lifeguards to stay within that ratio, the pool had to be closed.