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Hi,
I ha a question regarding sick leave. I had been dealing with health issues last year and ended up having surgery to help. When I returned to work I just felt like I needed more time. I know I pushed myself in the beginning to the point I had to go back home a few days because I hurt myself going back to work. I felt guilty I had passed my planned time off so I tried to come back. I just never felt ok when I was back and mentally I was just depressed and really trying to deal with my emotional issues that I had tried to ignore while dealin with all of the tests and doctors and hospital visits. Long story short I just didn’t feel ok being back at work and that I needed time to myself to finish healing physically and mentally. I thought about sick leave but felt guilty that I would put my employer in that position. I already felt guilty about my short time off for surgery because when I came back everyone told me how horrible things were and how they had to deal with so much without me. I made the decision to quit my job. I told my employer I needed time to focus on my health. I told them I thought about sick leave but I didn’t want to do that to them. I didn’t want them to have to hire someone new and go through that transition especially with all the board meetings coming up. I was in such a bad place personally I let my guilt take over and I did what was best for them. I said it would be better for them to hire someone and not have to deal with me leaving and coming back. Looking back now though months later while I’m still dealing with health issues and emotional, I only now realized I did the wrong thing. Not only that but I feel like my employer did the wrong thing by letting me quit even when I expressed my thoughts of sick leave and holding not to go on sick leave as the best choice for them because I felt guilty. I feel like as my employer they should have said I had a right to take a leave of absence if I needed it. I feel like they shouldn’t have just nodded and let me quit. They should have given me my options. They took the easy way out by letting me go and not having to deal with getting a short term replacement for me. I know I made the mistake by quitting, I see that now, but back then I was in such a weak state and so emotional that looking back now I feel like my employer and HR failed me by not telling me I had a right to go on sick leave. My bosses were the heads of HR and not one of them said if taking a sick leave is what you need we will make it work or you have that option regardless of you feeling guilty about it. Basically none of them said you don’t need to quit in order to take time for your health, you can go on sick leave. Am I wrong? I just feel like even though I was in a poor state and felt like taking a sick leave would be good for me but I feared my employer would not be happy I was taking more time. We were already in an environment where there were budget cuts and a lot of staff being let go and I was scared going on sick leave would be a reason for them to let me go eventually and I thought it would be better to quit than be let go. I was just scared. I was always scared I would be let go because they had talked about cutting down admin staff as an option. I was always stressed when I took time off because I didn’t want to be seen as the weak one of the admins that could be part of the budget cuts. I was just always scared for my job and I didn’t want to be on sick leave and be scared for my job because I wouldn’t be helping my healthnif I was stressed about losing my job. My basic question is there was a lot involved in the situation but looking back I feel like my employer dropped the ball and had a chance to tell me my rights and options and just let me take the easy way out for them. Do I have cause? Is there anyone I can talk to? What are my options? I just feel like number one they shouldn’t have let me do that even when I explicitly said I felt bad to take sick leave because of the effects it will have on my colleagues and employer so I’m opting to quit instead. I don’t think they should have let me do that and I want to ensure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. It’s not a wrongful dismissal sonindkntnknow whatbto call this orbifni have cause to complain? Can someone kindly advise? Thank you, Nancy

Thank you for your question. We would need to know exactly how that last conversation with your employer went before advising you on any possible recourse you have. I would encourage you to contact us at the number below to set up a consultation with one of our employment lawyers. We would be happy to help in any way we can.
The Lawyers at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP
Direct Tel (Toll Free): 1-855-821-5900     Email: webquestions@stlawyers.ca     Web: www.stlawyers.ca
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