3 weeks of calling in sick grows stale at Sobey’s (Legal View)

Worker didn’t provide any new medical documentation, said company knew of back injury
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/10/2012

An Ontario employer was entitled to fire an employee who didn’t reply to a request for medical documentation after three weeks of calling in sick, an arbitrator has ruled.

Peter Morin was a night-shift warehouse worker at Sobey’s Retail Support Centre in Milton, Ont. He was hired in March 2003. By early 2012, Sobey’s became concerned with Morin’s attendance. He called in sick many times, often without providing medical documents supporting his inability to work.

The collective agreement stipulated employment could be terminated when an employee was absent from work because of illness and didn’t provide a medical certificate verifying the illness. The agreement also gave cause for dismissal if an employee was absent without authorization for three scheduled workdays in a row without a valid reason.