Employee on leave with terminal cancer still an employee: Court

Employee on long-term disability wanted to come back if she could; employer assumed she was gone for good
|Canadian Employment Law Today

An Ontario woman’s disability leave didn’t frustrate her employment contract with a plumbing company and she should still be considered an employee, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ruled.

Sybille Dragone was an office clerk for Riva Plumbing Ltd. in Richmond Hill, Ont. She began working for the company in 1997 and her position included coverage under a health insurance plan and long-term disability benefits.

On March 2006, Dragone was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. On June 26, 2006, she told Riva her illness was making it difficult to walk and do her job so she was going on sick leave and long-term disability. Riva believed Dragone was leaving the company for good because of the terminal nature of her illness and thought she would be on long-term disability permanently.