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Quebec worker awarded more than $12K after being fired for taking sick leave

The woman was taking leave from work for health reasons. Her doctor's note said she had to be off work for four weeks. Getty Images

A Quebec employer has been ordered to pay more than $12,000 to a housekeeping worker who was fired on the spot after she informed them she was taking medical leave supported by a doctor’s note.

Quebec’s administrative labour tribunal 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 they didn’t accept her medical leave and that she would no longer work for them.

The woman filed a complaint with the province’s administrative labour tribunal, arguing her termination was in violation of the Labour Code. Her doctor had put her on leave from work for four weeks.

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

“By failing to appear 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,” the tribunal wrote.

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

In its ruling, the tribunal cancelled the worker’s dismissal and ordered the employer to give back her job “with all her rights and privileges, within eight days of notification of this ruling.”

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

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