Nurse’s bad back a pain for consultant (Legal view)

Employer on the hook for bad-faith actions of attendance management consultant
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/03/2010

An Ontario hospital is on the hook for the bad-faith actions of its attendance management consultant after it refused to allow a nurse to return to work from a sick leave when she claimed she was ready.

Barbara Shuster, 45, was a registered nurse at the Hamilton Health Sciences Centre (HHSC) who was diagnosed with herniated discs in her back in 2004. She received treatment and was off work, receiving long-term disability (LTD) benefits, from March 2004 to May 2005.

She returned to work with modified duties in May 2005 and worked her way up to regular duties, except for heavy lifting restrictions. In October 2005, Shuster suffered from more back pain as well as another medical condition and she went on short-term disability (STD).