Mosaic Potash too suspicious of timing around medical leave: Arbitrator

Employee went on stress leave after vacation request denied
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/15/2014

A Saskatchewan employer did not have just cause to dismiss an employee who was observed doing landscape work while on medical leave for stress, an arbitrator has ruled.

Steve Fonstad began employment as a labourer with Mosaic Potash, a potash mine operator near Colonsay, Sask., in October 2007. He was eventually promoted to the position of rehab operator, a position that involved operating a large machine underground that ran a scoop behind the mining machine that cut rock. Fonstad had a clean disciplinary record with Mosaic.

The company had a common practice employees followed when they took vacation leave. They were required to complete an absence authorization form, which described the period of time for which the request was being made.