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JENN, Paralegal
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  6 years as a paralegal
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I have been off work since May 2004, and am being treated ...

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I have been off work since May 2004, and am being treated for the last two years for mild Dementia of the Alzheimers type. My prognosis for returning to work are very poor. I receive LTD benefits from Great West Life and my employer pays my benefits, that is medical and dental insurance. I just received a letter saying I am being terminated due to innocent absenteeism or frustration of contract. And I will no longer receive my Health Benefits. One thing I do need at this time is these Health Benefits, I am on some pretty high cost drugs. Is there any way I can fight this dismissal? Thanking you in advance. XXXXX XXXXXford

Hi there - it's very possible to appeal or arbitrate on innocent absenteeism or frustration of contract, depending on the circumstances. This topic has also to do with human rights awell. Can you tell me more information?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I had a solid work history while I was there, and had no intentions of leaving before retirement. The affliction I have now is completely out of my control and is only going to get worse. By dismissing me and suggesting I purchase my own health benefits puts me in a very awkward position. Health providers will not sell coverage for existing conditions and my future medical costs could go through the roof. Outside of what I just typed, I don't really have anything else to add. I just feel dismissal at this time is unfair. Thank You

Hello, this is a complex answer, but I will try and break it down for you.

A frustrated contract occurs when an employer is attempting to dismiss an employee who is no longer active at work due to illness or injury. This is a challenging task because the employer is governed by common law and legislative restrictions that may limit the employer's ability to act.

Innocent Absenteeism is long-term or can be caused by mental or physical illness. The illness or injury can occur at or away from the workplace. If an employee is no longer able to provide services to the employer due to a disability which appears to be permanent, the contract of employment may be said to have become "frustrated".

For an employer to terminate you for frustration of contract, they must meet all over the following conditions:

  • the terms of the contract, including the provisions as to sickness pay;
  • how long the employment was likely to last in the absence of sickness;
  • the nature of the employment;
  • The nature of the illness or injury and how long it has already continued and the prospects of recovery; and the record of past employment.

An employer may also terminate a disabled employee without just cause by providing the employee with reasonable notice or pay in lieu thereof. This can only be done so long as the reason for the dismissal is not the employee's disability, as in such a situation the employer would be exposed to a complaint under the Human Rights Code. In assessing the employee's entitlement to notice, the employer must consider the employee's age, length of service, level of responsibility, salary and circumstances for recruitment.

Diabled and employees on LTD must be treated equally.

I am not sure what you mean by "dismissal". You can appeal the decisons of your employer through the Court system. If, indeed, your employer terminated you the conditions of your disability or your age (o other discrimation factors) you should contact: the Worker's Safety Insurance Act, the Human Rights Code and The Employment Standard Act. It seems to be that they violated some of your rights in the Human Rights Code.

Here's the link to the agencies I mentioned:

I hope you feel better and this information is helpful! Thank you!

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