If you are ill or injured and must take an extended period of time away from work as a result you may be worried about how this will impact your employment. Employees who are concerned about how illness, injury, or disability may affect them at work should note that, legally, an employer must accommodate you and cannot fire, discipline, or otherwise take action against you because you may be unable to work. Depending on the terms of your employment agreement, you may also have a variety of options available to you, including short-term disability and long-term disability benefits, which will assist you when you are unable to work.
At Sultan Lawyers in Toronto, our team of employment lawyers regularly advises employees on their options when they are too sick or injured to return to work. We can help ensure you are protected while you recover and will fight for your rights when needed.
Legally, an employer is subject to the duty to accommodate. Under the duty to accommodate, an employer is required to do whatever is necessary to accommodate an employee’s illness, injury, condition, or disability, to the point of “undue hardship”. Generally, this means the employee cannot be fired unless they can no longer perform the fundamental duties of their own job, or another job that is available in the workplace.
An employer must determine an injured or ill employee’s needs and limitations, determine what barriers may exist to them in their role as a result, and remove those barriers.
Examples of accommodation include:
The duty to accommodate also means that, in most cases, an employer must accommodate an employee’s disability or illness related leaves and cannot fire an employee who is on disability or sick leave.
If you are concerned that your employer is not accommodating your illness, disability, or condition, or you have been terminated while away on leave, you should consult with an employment lawyer as soon as possible. There are many steps you can take to protect yourself, including filing a human rights complaint, or suing your employer.
Ontario’s Employment Standards Act, which governs most workplaces in Ontario provides employees with various statutorily protected leaves that can assist if you or a family member are ill, and you have to miss work as a result, including personal emergency leave, domestic and sexual violence leave, family medical leave, critical illness leaves, and others. These leaves provide you with unpaid, job-protected time off to be used in the case of personal illness, injury, or medical emergency, or the illness, injury, or medical emergency of a child or other immediate family member.
In addition to the various leaves provided by the Employment Standards Act, many employment contracts come with benefit plans that may provide for other leaves including short-term disability leave, long-term disability leave, and others to be used in the event of illness, injury, or other medical emergency.
The Toronto employment lawyers at Sultan Lawyers regularly advice employees who require accommodation in the workplace, or who have been terminated due to a disability, chronic condition, or illness. We fight for your rights and ensure you are protected so that you can focus on your recovery and return to work. Contact us online or at 416-214-5111 for a consultation.
“I want to sincerely thank Sharaf Sultan and his team for their assistance. Right from the beginning, I knew they were extremely knowledgeable and hard working. I also had confidence that Sharaf and his team understood my perspective and that they were prepared to work hard to receive the best result possible. Sharaf and his team were always professional and diligent when providing legal services. He truly went above and beyond my expectations. The whole team provided honest and precise services and they managed to solve any problems that arose during my case. I would definitely work with them again!!”C. Bell
“Kristine Gorman of Sultan Lawyers was terrific in helping me get a Canadian work visa. Responsive, friendly, but mostly incredibly thorough and efficient, she was a life line for when I needed wise counsel and focused expertise.”D. Baum, Ph.D., D.Min. Management Consultant
“Sultan Lawyers provided a great experience during a difficult time with my employer. Kristine was extremely thorough and knowledgeable when reviewing and articulating the risks and details of my severance package. I am thankful for Kristine as her expertise enabled and empowered me to confidently make a decision on my options.”James V.
“I wholeheartedly endorse Sharaf and Alexandra for their employment expertise and their impressive level of client service. Not only was their legal counsel top-notch, but Sharaf helped me navigate the tricky emotional waters related to my matter in a healthy way. He saw the big picture and helped me toward the best possible outcome for me now and into the future. As a lawyer myself, I realised that the smartest thing I could do in my circumstances was to have excellent legal advice, and Sharaf and Alexandra went above my expectations. It was empowering to work with them, and I can't thank Sultan Lawyers enough!”N. Haras
I had an incredible experience working with the Sultan Lawyers team from start to finish. They were friendly and professional, and made me feel at ease with what I was going through. They provided me with some incredible advice, which resulted in a better outcome than I had expected. They also followed up with me to make sure everything was ok, which was a lovely touch, they really care about their clients. I also felt like the service I received was incredibly affordable, and I would definitely recommend Sultan Lawyers to anyone, without hesitation.A. Kelly
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