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Managing absenteeism – Learn the latest!

conf-vid-2The third session at First Reference’s Ontario Employment Law Conference on June 2, 2010, covers managing absenteeism. When dealing with absenteeism, employers must respect the protected leaves under the Employment Standards Act, as well as the accommodation rules found under the Human Rights Code and Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. Understandably, it may be difficult to balance employees’ rights under these pieces of legislation with employers’ need to have their employees productively working.

That said, it is important to know that recent case law has made it clear that employers are entitled to manage absenteeism in the workplace and monitor employees who are chronically absent from work due to disability. Moreover, employers can create a disability program involving regular contact with an employee’s physician in order to support treatment as a legitimate form of accommodation.

Furthermore, an employer has the right to terminate a disabled employee when, despite accommodation measures, that employee remains unable to resume work for the foreseeable future. That is, an employer is not obliged to indefinitely employ someone who is not capable of regular job performance. If the characteristics of an illness are such that it will excessively hamper the proper operation of the business, or if an employee with such an illness remains unable to work for the reasonably foreseeable future, even though the employer has tried to accommodate the employee, the employer will have satisfied the test of accommodation to the point of undue hardship.

At the conference, you will learn the above principles and how to apply them to your leaves and accommodation policies, including your disability management program, by reviewing:

  • What courts, tribunals and arbitrators are saying about Attendance Management Programs
  • How to effectively and lawfully manage disability and non-disability related absenteeism
  • What to do with insufficient medical documentation
  • When and how to terminate for excessive absenteeism

There is much more—come and learn how to manage absenteeism. Register for the 2010 Employment Law Conference co-sponsored by Stringer Brisbin Humphrey, and Learn the latest! (Registrations now closed)

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Christina Catenacci

Christina Catenacci, BA, LLB, LLM, was called to the Ontario Bar in 2002 and has since been a member of the Ontario Bar Association. Christina worked as an editor with First Reference between February 2005 and August 2015, working on publications including The Human Resources Advisor (Ontario, Western and Atlantic editions), HRinfodesk discussing topics in Labour and Employment Law. Christina has decided to pursue a PhD at the University of Western Ontario beginning in the fall of 2015. Read more
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