Unpaid leave as accommodation


#1

Hi,
I was on disability for 2 years up to a few months ago when it changed to “any” occupation. I’m not going to appeal because I don’t think I can win that fight. And I’m sick of dealing with toxic insurance people.
I just really want the ability to go back to my current job if I can somehow get better. I work in a factory for a large corporation, my job is heavy labor. The insurance company has concluded I cannot do my own job. And there aren’t really any jobs where I work that I would be able to do without creating one.
My question is could allowing me to stay on unpaid leave be the accommodation, and could there be an INDEFINITE TIMELINE on that?
I’m not in a specialized job, so it’s not like the company is in the predicament of having to hold my job for me, I’m easily replaced.
I’m sure the company would rather do that than have to make me a job, I would even be willing to give up my medical benefits so it literally cost them nothing. I just want the ability to come back if I can.

I’ve read a couple times that companies can get rid of you after the 3-4 year mark if not on an approved disability claim, so just wondering if unlimited unpaid leave as accommodation is actually an option.


#2

I don’t know the answer to your question.
Do you think in the future you would be able to return to your job?
My guess would be they already have someone doing your work and I can’t think of what would be in it for your employer.
If you have a really nice employer they might go for it.
Whether it can legally be an “accommodation”, I don’t know.


#3

Go for the free consult so you know your options. Please


#4

https://resolutelegal.ca/free-consultation/


#5

In my case - 6 months after I was approved for the “any” occupation the Disability Insurer then cut me off. My Employer put me on an “Unpaid Leave of Absence” while I was in litigation with the Insurer - however - they were only allowed to do so for one (1) year because that’s in accordance with CRA Guidelines (that was my understanding) plus it’s also Company Policy that an unpaid LOA can only be to a max of one year. Once the one year was up and I was still in Litigation my employer terminated my employment under “frustrated contract”. I don’t know if I have a case or not but I am pursuing it.


#6

Employers have a duty to accommodate sick or disabled employees to the point such accommodations would cause “undue hardship” to the employer. Therefore the size and resources of your employer play a large role in the degree of accommodation the employer must do.

Allowing an employee to take an extended sick leave is recognized as a reasonable accommodation for any employer; however, employers only have to allow this to continue up to a maximum of 3-4 years due to the doctorine of frustration of the employment contract. So the short answer is no, an employer does not have to hold a person’s job indefinitely.


David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

The response posted above is based on the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with a lawyer, fully explain your situation, and allow the lawyer enough time to research the applicable law and facts required to give an adequate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full one-on-one discussion with a lawyer should be done before taking any any action. The information posted on this forum is available to the viewing public and is not intended to create a lawyer client relationship with any person. If you want one-on-one advice, please click here to request a free consultation or call toll free 1-877-282-5188 to speak with a member with our disability claim support team.