Support worker fights assault charge, termination

You Make the Call
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 06/20/2018

This instalment of You Make the Call involves a personal support worker who was accused of hitting a client.

Catherine Hector was an overnight support worker for Community Living Toronto (CLT), an operator of group homes and services for clients with intellectual disabilities and their families. Hired in 2001, her job duties included looking after adults with special needs in a CLT-operated residence with self-contained apartments in a high-rise building in Toronto. As an overnight support worker, Hector was usually the only staff member present overnight, looking after clients in three apartments, doing medication checks, ensuring clients were in bed when staff left, and performing cleaning and laundry duties.

On Oct. 1, 2013, Hector worked an overnight shift before being off for a few days. No complaints were made after her shift or doing the next couple of days. However, on Oct. 3, a daytime support worker at the residence noticed that one client — who had fetal alcohol syndrome with cognitive, emotional, and psychological problems requiring 24-hour supervision and a history of telling lies to staff — had marks on his left leg. Another staff member saw the marks and they determined them to be bruises.