Employee skips work, doesn’t tell anyone, gets fired

Employee took three days off work to visit ill grandmother but didn't tell his employer where he was
|Canadian Employment Law Today

This edition of You Make the Call looks at the case of an employee who took time off with no notice because a family member was gravely ill.

Steve Kelesis worked as a shackler for Ryding-Regency Meat Packers Ltd., a meat processor and wholesaler in Toronto, since November 2001. On Oct. 25, 2004, he learned his grandmother was in the hospital and was dying. The next day he went to the hospital and stayed there all day rather than going to work. He spent all of the following day at the hospital as well, only leaving to pick up his wife. He didn’t contact Ryding-Regency on either day to explain his absence though the company had a dedicated phone line for reporting absences.

On Oct. 28, after spending the morning at the hospital, Kelesis went to the plant to explain why he hadn’t been at work for the past two-and-a-half days. When asked why he didn’t call in to report his absence, he said he had been “in a state of shock, worried, upset.” He also claimed he had told a foreman the previous week he would be taking a couple of days off, though he didn’t specify which days.