Legal briefs

Shared blame for accommodation; Personal problems warranted discipline
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/08/2009

Shared blame for accommodation

Donnacona, Que. — Dominique Turmel was a correctional officer at Donnacona Institution in Quebec who became pregnant. Correctional Services of Canada (CSC) was obligated under a collective agreement to reassign her if duties posed a risk to her health. Turmel provided a medical certificate stipulating no contact with inmates during her pregnancy as it could be stressful, so she was reassigned and a schedule was set up so inmate cleaners would not be present where Turmel was. However, she encountered inmates six times over the next five weeks, which upset her, and she was placed on unpaid leave. The Canadian Public Service Labour Relations Board found CSC didn’t do enough to keep Turmel separated from inmates, but it also found Turmel was partly at fault because she wasn’t careful and didn’t inform CSC when she was out of her office. Turmel was entitled to compensation for her unpaid leave, but the award was reduced because of her part in failing to live up to her side of the accommodation.

Personal problems warranted discipline