Policy violation, not disability, reason for worker’s firing

Company accommodated disability by permitting absences when necessary, but didn’t have to accommodate worker’s failure to follow reporting policy
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 02/28/2018

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has upheld the dismissal of a worker who suffered from kidney stones because the dismissal was for his failure to follow the procedure for reporting his absences, not the absences themselves.

Nicholas Rajic started working for Omega Tool Corporation, a company that engineers and manufactures plastics tooling based in Oldcastle, Ont., on Nov. 30, 2015. On his first day, he attended an orientation with a human resources assistant where he reviewed the employee handbook including the company’s attendance policy.

The attendance policy stated that Omega expected employees “to be at work every day, on time, as scheduled.” However, if employees were unable to start work at their normal starting time, regardless of the reason, they were required to notify their manager before their shift began and state the reason for their absence. If the reason was personal, they could simply say “personal reason” but had to contact human resources to discuss it.