Employer insensitive to hypersensitivity

Employee with illness caused by office environment awarded $18,000 after new manager ended work-from-home agreement
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 06/01/2011

A government employer must pay $18,000 for its reluctance to allow an employee who got sick from the office environment to work from home, the Canada Public Service Labour Relations Board has ruled.

Nathalie Cyr was a project manager with the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development – Service Canada who had been working in public service since 1992. In February 2004, she started working at Service Canada’s offices at Place du Portage, a building in Gatineau, Que.

Cyr had never experienced any health problems before, so she became concerned when, after about a month in the new building, she began feeling tired on a regular basis. She also began experiencing headaches and sinus pain shortly after arriving at work each day. Once she went home at the end of the day, the symptoms would gradually disappear, only to return at work the next day.