We have an employee who has exhibited rude, condescending, passive aggressive behaviour, made complaints against colleagues in bad faith and has lied about her supervisor’s conduct. She was placed on a PIP following the complaint in bad faith but has failed to meet the expectations hence the suspension. As soon as this employee was suspended (3 day suspension) she hit us with a doctor’s note asking to apply for STD. As the employer are we within our rights to advise this employee that her STD will kick in once she has completed her suspension? Or is that in violation of human rights?
Wow. Tough question. Denying STD to an employee with a disability could very well raise a red flag under human rights laws. It could also violate your employment contract and benefits policies. So, I guess the first thing I’d want to know is what’s at stake? In other words, if you can avoid the question simply by starting her on STD without waiting for the 3 days, maybe you should just to be safe.
If there is something more than meets the eye and those 3 days have some kind of significance, the question of whether the employee can go on STD before completing her suspension will depend on the terms of: 1. Your progressive discipline policy; and 2. the terms of the STD plan. If those policies allow you to wait until the suspension is over, you should be OK, as long as you consistently treat other employees in the same situation the same way. But if the STD entitlement does supercede the suspension, sticking to your guns on insisting she finish the suspension first increases your disability discrimination liability risks.
Hope that helps. Glenn