When she became disabled abroad, her employer could not demand that she return to Montreal to meet with his medical examiner

Release date: October 1st, 2015

An employee was dismissed for not returning to her home country to submit to a medical examination. The evidence showed that, at the end of her holidays, the employee notified her employer that she could not return to Canada, since she was in a state of major depression and was experiencing states of panic that prevented her from boarding an aircraft. According to the arbitrator, the employer abused his rights by demanding that the employee return to explain herself to a physician in Montreal, when medical certificates confirmed her inability to travel. If the employer felt that these certificates were inadequate, he could have asked for more details. The employee was not guilty of insubordination. In addition, even if she had been at fault, the employer should have applied progressive sanctions, considering that the employee had a clean disciplinary file and that her record of absenteeism was exemplary. The dismissal was cancelled and the employer was obliged to reimburse all amounts recovered to the employee.

Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec v. Québec (Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale) DTE 2015T-146, 2014 QCTA 1078, Pierre St-Arnaud Esq.

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