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OK to Discipline Employee for Erratic Attendance

During a 5-month period, a government employee:

  • Reported late on 8 occasions
  • Was absent with undisclosed illnesses on 21 other occasions.

The agency asked for an explanation of why the employee found it so hard to report to work on time—did he have some kind of illness or problem? But the employee offered no explanation. So the agency required him to follow strict reporting conditions each time he planned to be late or absent.

But soon the employee was back to his old way. So the agency resorted to progressive discipline of the employee for failing to comply with his reporting those conditions. The employee filed a disability discrimination grievance but the Alberta arbitrator threw out his complaint. The discipline was reasonable given the worker’s erratic attendance history; and there was no medical evidence that he had a disability requiring accommodation, the arbitrator found [Riche v. Treasury Board (Department of National Defence), [2013] PSLRB 35 (CanLII), April 2, 2013].

Recent Alberta Discipline and Termination Cases