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166-2-31108 (2002 PSSRB 105)
Goyette v. Treasury Board (Solicitor General Canada – Correctional Service)
Before: J.-P. Tessier
Appearances: C. Lalande, for the Grievor; J. Champagne, for the Employer
Decision rendered: December 20, 2002
Sick leave – Part of leave not authorized by the employer who requested repayment of wages for this time – the grievor has been employed by the Correctional Service since 1983 and, at the time of the events related, she occupied a position as a correctional officer – the grievor was on sick leave from work from February 23 to July 3, 1998 – on the basis of medical reports, the employer decided on June 12, 1998, not to authorize the leave starting on April 14, 1998, and therefore, requested repayment of the sick leave between April 14 and April 29, 1998 – the adjudicator determined that although the medical reports of April 14 and 25 indicated that the grievor appeared physically able to work, she nevertheless expressed a great deal of emotion and anxiety about returning to work – in the adjudicator's view, if the employer had followed the doctors' recommendation and asked the grievor to report to the Human Resources Directorate to discuss the situation, an agreement on mediation or reassignment might have been reached before July 3 – the adjudicator concluded that there was nothing in the doctor's report that could justify a three-month recuperation period beginning on April 25, 1998, but he agreed with the doctor that the grievor's anxiety could have given rise to a fear of returning to work – the adjudicator concluded that a discussion meeting between the employer and the grievor during the subsequent few weeks could have dissipated her anxiety and made it possible for her to return to work in May or June – in light of these points, the adjudicator found that the grievor had met her obligations and that the evidence adduced had not convinced him that the employer was justified in refusing to authorize the grievor's absence from March 14 to April 29, and the employer could not therefore demand repayment of the sick leave paid to the grievor for that period – the adjudicator allowed the grievance and ordered the employer to grant the grievor the sick leave for the period from March 14 to April 29, 1998.