Stressed firefighter combats firing (Legal View)

Claimed bad attendance record was caused by mental disability but really he just handled personal problems poorly, says Ontario arbitrator
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/28/2013

An Ontario firefighter’s dismissal for missing work without permission has been upheld by an arbitrator, despite the firefighter’s claim he suffered from a disability.

Kim Elliott was a firefighter with the Fire and Rescue Service in Windsor, Ont. Hired in 1991, he was disciplined several times, mostly for attendance problems and tardiness. Along with verbal and written reprimands, Elliott was suspended four times for varying lengths of time.

On March 29, 2004, he was given a warning letter following a suspension for an unauthorized absence that stated if he missed any more work without permission, he would likely be dismissed.