Mentally ill employee’s progress not enough

Reinstatement into hectic workplace not possible with continued risk of violent episodes: Arbitrator
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 01/22/2013

An Ontario arbitrator has found a frequently-absent employee should not be reinstated to active duty but should be reinstated for the purposes of applying for long-term disability (LTD) benefits.

Agropur Division Natrel, a manufacturer of dairy products based in Longueuil, Que., had a 38-year-old labourer at its Toronto plant that had been diagnosed with “severe mental health conditions” stemming from a traumatic childhood. The employee’s problems included post-traumatic stress disorder, impulse control disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as some personality disorders.

The employee was hired in 2000 and there were no problems until 2009. The employee began having serious difficulty and sought treatment for his mental issues. He went on short-term disability benefits and spent two months at a health centre in a program for traumatic stress recovery. He was released in late June 2010, with the expectation he could return to work with accommodations in August.