Company is delaying return to work

Long story, short…

Wife was on LTD for 6 years. CPP only for the last year.
She has been cleared by doctor to return to her government desk job.
Its been 4+ months and HR is saying they still don’t have an available job for her. That’s not true at all as they’ve been hiring constantly for months in jobs that she is able to do. I think they just don’t want to take her back after being off so long. She is unionized, but hasn’t gotten much help from her union beyond talking to HR.

My wife has worked really hard to get back to work and I feel like the delays are starting to impact her again.

Is there anything she can do to make them take her back. They have to take her back under their collective agreement but there is nothing about how soon.

Anybody ever have success going to back to work after a long absence? How long did it take.

Have her send them the postings she thought she qualified for and ask what up. Escalate to a more senior manager/HR person. If necessary send a legal letter reminding them of their obligations and/or contact the hum rights commission in your province for advice/action.


That is a bad situation. If you have a union, you are kind of hooped since I think you need to go through them. Even though your agreement doesn’t say how long they have, they have to do it in a reasonable time. How big is the company? The larger they are, the less excuses they will have. I think your wife needs to escalate things higher. Has your wife officially requested a duty to accommodate? Like, officially? She could threaten to file a human rights complaint. I bet @David_Brannen will have some better advice for you.

I have a couple of comments here:

  1. Make sure you notify CPP disability of her intent to “try” to return to work. You should ask for her to be put into the CPP disability vocational rehabilitation program. This is very important to avoid overpayment issues with CPP disability. CPP will assign a vocational case worker to your situation and that person will monitor how you are doing.

  2. All paths for return to work lead through the Union. In unionized work settings, union members must go through the union for any disputes with the employer. Your wife should be filing an official grievance through union so this issue can be dealt with. Grievances eventually end up in arbitration where the arbitrator can order the employer to take certain actions under the collective agreement. You need to put pressure on union to take action as this may not be their top priority.

David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

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