Termination for Excessive Innocent Absenteeism Upheld

  • May 02, 2023
  • Laura Epplett

A nurse with over fifteen years of service was terminated from her employment in accordance with the hospital’s attendance support program due to frequent and extended absences. The hospital determined that there was no reasonable prospect of the grievor maintaining regular attendance. The union argued that some of the illnesses over a period of time should be excluded from the grievor’s absence record. In response, the hospital pointed out that: 1) it had discussions with the grievor on at least ten occasions over the years regarding her excessive absence record, during which the grievor did not request an accommodation on the grounds of disability; and 2) the grievor did not take advantage of her ability to meet with the hospital’s Occupational Health & Safety Services physician to discuss if there was any underlying medical conditions or a disability that interfered with her ability to attend work regularly.