Guilt trip leads to wrongful dismissal

Employee made to feel guilty about disability-related absences resigned then changed mind
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 09/21/2011

A Saskatchewan employer wrongfully dismissed a worker who was given a guilt trip that steered her into quitting when it refused to let her change her mind about the resignation, the Saskatchewan Arbitration Board has ruled.

Shannon Ouellette was a case manager with the Saskatoon Regional Health Authority who supported and facilitated the care of troubled youth in the community. Her tenure with the health authority dated back to 2000, when she joined it as an addictions counsellor.

In 2005, Ouellette was involved in two automobile accidents, which left her with serious injuries and a faulty gall bladder. Following the accidents, she often had to be away from work so she could undergo physiotherapy and deal with flare-ups of her gall bladder. Eventually, she was put on a waiting list to have her gall bladder removed and the health authority accommodated her absences.