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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101431
Experience:  Lawyer
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I've been with my current employer years. About 6 months

Customer Question

I've been with my current employer for 30 years. About 6 months ago, I went to our HR department about concerns I had about my mental health. I was given instructions of how to go about getting help and was told this matter would be kept confidential. I eventually found out my supervisor was told about my situation for safety concerns. Since then I've noticed a distinct cooling towards me even though I always had a good reputation and survived numerous lay-offs over the years. I have the impression that some minor issues that were never a concern before are being tallied against me for a possible termination or lay-off. If so, would this fall into the category of discrimination and a possible lawsuit?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Are you in a union?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

Yet? I'm talking about your supervisor or the HR department.

How did you find that the supervisor was told?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, our company has no union at all.Before xmas, I informed my supervisor that it might be best for me to step down from my position as nightshift leadhand for our department. I expressed some concern with my decision making skills and thought it would be best for someone else to perform that task. At that point he mentioned that he had been contacted by the HR manager. He said he realized it's supposed to be a confidential matter but she felt there might of been some possible safety issue. He then said he felt confident in my ability to run nightshift and felt no need for me to step down. Must admit I was a bit surprised to here about this but on retrospect, I imagine this is fairly common seeing there could be repercussions against the company if a serious safety incident occurred. I never felt that I would do anything to compromise safety but I was in a pretty high state of anxiety when I did talk to the hr representative.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.

So are you stating that you don't think it was actually wrong for the HR manager to speak to your supervisor but the problem now is that you believe you supervisor is not treating you fairly because of this information about your disability?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think he's been fine about it for the most part. The fact that he didn't think I needed to step down from my leadhand position says a lot. However, the last couple weeks, I've noticed a significant change in the way he's reacted to what I would normally consider a couple minor issues. The fact is that I work in a industry that is going through some pretty hard times right now. Our company is doing pretty well considering but I'm sure that we will have more lay-offs unless there's a sudden turn around.The supervisor the next level above is the guy I'm worried about. I've never talked to him about it but I'm positive he's also been informed about my meeting with HR. We have never gotten along very well and it's occurred to me that he may be instructing my direct supervisor to gather info and evidence to make a valid case for laying me off before guys that have only been at the company for 2-5 years. I've seen him work this way before but the difference now is that I may have given him the opportunity to go after me for the first time. He's very good at blowing things out of proportion and making things sound much worse then they actually are.I don't think I have a disability. I've been fine for the most part since Xmas. I just don't know what kind of legal recourse I would have if I did get laid off before guys with much less seniority. I've had issues most of my life but I've always been able to contain them and not influence my performance at work. It just seems to me this guy may realize that this is his one and only opportunity to get rid of me during this current slow down and he's making the most of it.I should add that maybe there is no issue at all and I'm just imagining things. However, I think it's prudent to prepare for the worst.
Expert:  Debra replied 1 year ago.
OK. Now I understand fully.If you are dismissed because of a disability then this is most assuredly a case of discrimination and you could file a complaint with the human rights tribunal.If you are dismissed and it is without just cause and it's not because of discrimination after so many years of employment you would be entitled to considerable termination pay.The way it would work is that you be entitled to reasonable notice or pay in lieu of notice and after 30 years of employment for the same employer you could be entitled to more than one year's pay.So, wasp if you are dismissed you should consult with a lawyer face-to-face as your best next step. Does that help?