Quebec worker awarded over $12,000 after being fired for taking sick leave

A Quebec employer was ordered to pay more than $12,000 to a housekeeper who was immediately fired after she informed them that she was taking sick leave, supported by a note from the doctor.

The Administrative Labor Tribunal of Quebec wrote in its decision that the woman’s employer went so far as to take her doctor’s note, crumple it up and throw the paper in her direction.

The employer then allegedly told the worker that he did not accept her sick leave and that she would no longer work for him.

The woman filed a complaint with the provincial administrative labor tribunal, alleging that her dismissal violated the Labor Code. Her doctor had put her off work for four weeks.

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The employer in question did not appear at the hearing on the complaint and did not provide evidence, according to the court.

« By not appearing at the hearing to assert its claims, the employer deprived itself of the opportunity to be heard and to present its version of the facts, » wrote the court.

The court said only one conclusion could be drawn: that the complainant was fired because she told her employer that she would be absent from work for health reasons.

In its judgment, the court canceled the worker’s dismissal and ordered the employer to return her job « with all her rights and privileges, within eight days of notification of this judgment ».

The employer was also ordered to pay $12,528 to compensate the worker for lost wages during this period, plus interest.

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