Employer can’t deny sick credits for failure to call in sick properly

Employer was concerned with failure to follow procedure, not legitimacy of illness; denial of sick pay violated collective agreement
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 12/12/2012

An Ontario school board employee should be paid for three days he was off sick, despite the fact the employee didn’t comply with the required protocol for advising his employer, an arbitrator has ruled.

Marc Paradis worked for the Toronto District School Board for 22 years. On June 7, 2010, Paradis fell ill and left a voice message for a school board official early in the morning indicating he was sick and wouldn’t be able to work that day. However, the board’s absence reporting protocol — which Paradis had acknowledged as having read — required that employees contact the board’s call centre to report absences. Also, the message on the official’s phone directed Paradis to call the call centre.

As a result of Paradis’ failure to follow the proper protocol, the board official didn’t receive the message and didn’t know of his absence until he called on June 10 to say he was able to return to work. When the official asked Paradis why he didn’t contact the call centre, Paradis replied he only had to make one call.