Personal injury lawyers representing bus driver’s injured in car accidents resulting in chronic illnesses celebrated a victory in this Court of Appeal case (Coast Mountain Bus Company Ltd. v. National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers of Canada (CAW-Canada), Local 111). The Attendance Management Program, aimed at firing employees with chronic illness resulting in time off work, was found to be discriminatory. So if a bus driver has an ICBC claim due to a car accident and has to take several months off work,  the Attendance Management Program cannot be used to fire him or her.  As the Cort of Appeal concluded,

“I would allow, in part, each of the appeal and the cross appeal.  I would set aside the order of the chambers judge to the extent that it allowed the Employer’s petition with respect to the claim of systemic discrimination.  With respect to the adjudicator’s orders:

(a)      I would restore her order that the Employer cease its contravention of s. 13 of the Code and refrain from committing the same or a similar contravention;

(b)      I would restore her order with respect to the Employer’s application of the Attendance Management Program to the extent of ordering that the Employer cease applying the Program (i) to place employees at Level 3 of the Program on the basis of absences due to disabilities, or (ii) to include absences due to disabilities in the attendance records of employees who have reached Level 3 of the Program and have been placed on attendance parameters, including partial day absences for employees on gradual-return-to-work programs;

(c)      I would affirm her order awarding damages to the six individual employees; and

(d)      I would not restore her order for Tribunal-assisted mediation.”

The Court of Appeal upheld awards in the range of $5-6,000.00 to  six individual bus drivers under the Human Rights law in BC. I cannot imagine that $6,000.00 could ever be enough to compensate for the severe stress, anxiety and loss of enjoyment of life created by this employer. Posted by Mr. Renn A. Holness
Issue:  Should car accident injury claimants be able to force their employers to hold their jobs?

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