A recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice confirms that employers are within their rights to require medical notes when employees are absent from work. However, this decision stands as a warning to employers that although they can ask, they may not be able to summarily terminate an employee who fails to comply.
Alberta employers should keep this decision in mind when responding to an employee’s last minute request or demand for time off work to deal with childcare obligations, and even other family needs. Arguably, and if the right facts exist, employees could be protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act even if they have made no efforts to seek out alternate child care. The result is that they could be entitled to the short period of time off, in most cases despite the negative impact that their absence will have on the employer’s operations.
The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: the issue of workplace absenteeism; a case that addresses the issue of medical marijuana use by an employee who works in a safety-sensitive position; and a FAQ that addresses the provincial standard for training employees on Bill 132 (Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act (Supporting Survivors and Challenging Sexual Violence and Harassment), 2016).