Two Employees With Back Injuries Fired for Lying
1. These cases are too good not to share:
Two recent arbitration decisions in Ontario and Manitoba are good news for employers! They involve employees who claimed to have disabling non-compensable back injuries which prevented them from performing their regular duties. In both cases, the employee received short term disability benefits and then applied for Long Term Disability Benefits. One was denied for insufficient medical information. Both intentionally misrepresented their physical abilities and gave misleading or untruthful information to the employer or the disability insurance provider. These unionized employees were fired for lying and both dismissals were upheld at arbitration. It was only through video surveillance investigations that fundamental discrepancies were found in the information provided by the medical doctors and the allegedly disabled employees and their true level of activity. Based on these discrepancies, the employees were fired for lying and both dismissals were upheld (the Ontario grievance appears to have been heard in 10 long days of arbitration).
Here are the cases:
Ontario: Kingston (City) v. C.U.P.E., Local 109 (McLaughlin Grievance) Award: March 12, 2010
Manitoba: Winpak Ltd v. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 830 (Cook Grievance) Award: April 15, 2010
A caution about Surveillance Investigators: At Charlebois Associates, we have used investigators from Windsor to Barrie and we know that this is a significant expense for employers (approximately $1,000 / day). Surveillance that is well conducted is invaluable, especially if you obtain results like those mentioned above. Picking the right investigations company is crucial to your success and the process must be carefully conducted to protect you from claims that you are crossing the privacy line or abusing any number of potential or alleged protected employee rights. If you would like to read these lovely cases, or would like assistance with any matter involving the possible need for surveillance, please send us an email.
2. ‘Interim’ Work Reintegration Policies (the in-house LMR, which really means “in the employers” house LMR) became effective on December 1, 2010. Charlebois Associates will be hosting complimentary information seminars for employers in Windsor, London and Toronto in January 2011. Send us an email if you would like further information on these sessions.