Employee’s miscarriage a disability: Tribunal

Injury from a fall and a miscarriage followed by depression were disabilities that resulted in employee’s inability to work
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/06/2016

An Ontario employee’s miscarriage was a disability which may require accommodation by her employer, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ruled.

Winnie Mou of Markham, Ont., suffered a deep tissue injury in January 2013 that required heavy pain medication. She had difficulty moving one side of her body, so attempts to return to work were initially unsuccessful. Her employer, MHPM Project Leaders, wasn’t able to provide short-term disability benefits, so she took sick days until she was able to return on Jan. 21.

In May 2013 Mou suffered a miscarriage, followed by the death of her mother-in-law shortly thereafter. These two events led to severe depression, which disabled Mou and required her to take time off work. Because she had used up her sick days in January, Mou had to use vacation leave. Mou wasn’t officially diagnosed with depression until 2014.