Category Archives: Doctor’s Notes and Sick Leave

Blogs on topics related to injury and illness in the workplace; employer and employee rights and responsibilities for the process.

Is Attendance Management Confusing You?

Thank you to my reader who asked questions regarding the confusing world of Attendance Management programs.  These programs are tricky to navigate because of Human Rights concerns so employers need to use caution when using discipline for absences. 1. Mandated Leaves of Absence – If your workers use the Leave provisions from the Employment Standards Act, these absences cannot be subject to disciplinary action.  There is a limited exception with regard to Personal Emergency Leave in that the absent employee must be able to provide “proof that is reasonable in the circumstances” to show entitlement to the leave.  Failure to Continue Reading »

What Does “Protected Leave” Mean?

Under the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and/or the Human Rights Code, employees are entitled to “protected” leaves of absences. Some examples are Personal Emergency Leave days, Maternity/Parental leave and Compassionate Leaves. “Protected” leave simply means that if an employee exercises their right to take one of these leaves, their right to return to their current job and wage are protected under law. This simply means that if an employee is off, the employer can’t make significant detrimental changes to the job or wage that the employee had when they went off work. Are there “unprotected leaves”? Yes! For example, in Continue Reading »

When to Ask for Doctor’s Notes

So your employee has used a “sick” day or Personal Emergency leave. Are you allowed to ask for a doctor’s note? Yes you are. But, as with all things HR, some discretion should be used. A little trust and respect can go a long way to keeping your employees happy. Also, if the employer is going to insist that the employee provide a doctor’s note, the employer is required to cover the cost of the fee for obtaining that note. The reasoning behind the requirement for a doctor’s note is to establish documentation for those employees who like to “play Continue Reading »

2019 Will Be An Interesting Year

The Human Resources landscape has significantly changed in the past twelve months. From introduction and then repeal of key employment legislation, to threats of interference with union collective agreements, businesses and organizations are going crazy trying to keep up with changes, and in the process workers are being negatively affected as well. Some highlights I have encountered: A few employers have taken away pay raises that were given under the “equal pay regardless of status” rules, causing constructive dismissal cases and allegations of unfair practices. It’s important to remember that once you offer a benefit to a worker it is Continue Reading »

Hidden Types of “Impairment” at Work

Being “impaired” can be caused by a number of different reasons, not just alcohol or cannabis.  It is important to recognize these issues so that everyone has a safe and healthy workplace.   No matter what the cause, if the employee will be “impaired” at work, they are legally required to disclose this information to their employer. Some examples of “hidden” impairment include: Sleep deprivation: The worker stays up till 3am watching the tied World Series game, and their shift starts at 7am.  The person would be impaired by lack of sleep and not able to focus on operating machinery or cognitive Continue Reading »