What human rights?

So I finally received response from my employer re my questions and concerns from January 31. Here is that gem:

February 22, 2018


Dear Angela,


Thank you for your email.  As HR Manager, I have been asked to respond to your email.


You have stated that you did not understand what we meant when we referred to your pattern of absence.  


What we are referring to is the fact that, over the past 2 years and 2 months (for much of that time I was on an approved modified schedule), you have shown a repeated pattern of absence from work which is inconsistent with the requirements of your job.  Specifically, your job requires your attendance at work five days per week.  However, you have been unable to achieve five days’ attendance on a regular basis for any consistent period of time.  While this is not an exact breakdown, over the past 2 years, you have essentially attended work not more than 4 days per week.  This is not sufficient to meet the requirements of your employment duties, or our program needs.


As per our meeting on January 25th, redacted does note, you have explained the reason for your absences, and you have indicated that your medical condition is the cause of your unsatisfactory attendance.  We accept this is the case, and we do not question that you have a medical condition which is preventing you from regular attendance.  The fact remains that redacted has a commitment to its program that requires us to staff the program five days per week.  That is one of our primary concerns, i.e. to meet program needs, as well as ensuring that we are doing what we can to assist and accommodate you.


As your employer, we have a right to expect regular full time attendance from you (meaning five days per week), unless you have a medical condition preventing you from such regular attendance.  As mentioned, we accept your statement that you do have a medical condition, but we are entitled to ask for medical information from you to justify your absences from work and your pattern of irregular attendance.  That is why during the meeting we asked you to provide us with medical information so that we may better understand your situation and what we may have to do to accommodate your situation. In follow up to the meeting, you advised us of your medical appointment on February 8, 2018, we requested that you provide us with medical information, so that we may better understand your situation and your needs, and any accommodations required.(NOTE I HAVE NOT ASKED FOR ANY ACCOMMODATIONS!)


I acknowledge that, on February 20, 2018, you emailed to us a medical note dated February 8, 2018 from Dr. redacted.  Based upon our review of Dr. redacted medical note, however, it would appear that Dr. redacted may not be aware of the extent and frequency of your absences (!!!!)  In particular, Dr. redacted states that “generally [you are] capable of full-time work with regular duties but from time to time will unexpectedly require time off work for a period of days to weeks at a time”. 


It’s is redacted view that Dr. redacted has not correctly characterized your current ability for full-time work.  Dr. redacted states that, generally, you are capable of full-time work with regular duties.  However, your attendance record has not demonstrated this.  Instead, over the past two years and two months, you have been capable of only irregular attendance, working an average of four days per week (again modified work schedule) Full-time work is five days per week and your attendance record demonstrates that you have not been capable of full-time work.  As mentioned above, we do understand this is due to your medical condition.  Your doctor’s opinion that you are generally capable of full-time work is not consistent with your pattern of absence. 


In any event, the medical you provided dated February 8, 2018 does not provide redacted with sufficient information for us to assess whether you will be capable of regular full time attendance in the future, and what your prognosis might be.  Therefore, we request that you return to Dr. redacted for a follow up appointment and specifically obtain the following medical information in written form from Dr. redacted and then provide it to us: (ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!)


1.       A description of any medical, physical or other restrictions which may result from your medical condition and which may impact on your ability to perform your job duties and attend work on a regular, full-time basis, meaning five days per week.  (Please note that we are not asking for any diagnosis or details of your medical condition, other than as they relate to any restrictions it may have on your ability to perform your workplace duties and ability to attend work regularly.);

2.       A prognosis from your physician as to the likelihood that your medical condition might improve (WHAT DOCTOR WOULD DO THIS??)such that any current restrictions and/or modifications might not be required in the future, or may be required to a lesser degree;

3.       A prognosis from your physician as to the likelihood of your ability to achieve regular, full-time workplace attendance (i.e. five days per week as opposed to your current average of four days per week) in the reasonably foreseeable future; 

4.       Alternatively, if your physician determines that it is unlikely that you will be able to achieve regular, full-time attendance in the reasonably foreseeable future, whether it is also likely that your attendance will tend to decline (Psychic abilities needed) in the reasonably foreseeable future; and

5.       Any suggested accommodations or recommendations your doctor may have for redacted to allow us to better accommodate your situation.


Angela, please note that we require the above information from your physician so that we may assess your workplace restrictions, needs and any requirements for accommodation (NOTE I HAVE NOT ASKED FOR ANY ACCOMMODATIONS), as well as our ability to ensure that we meet program needs, which are five days per week.


Your email mentions that you provided a booklet for employers to redacted about employees with MS, and how best to support them.  In our review of that information, we believe we have met the needs outlined repeatedly over the course of the past two plus years.  Moreover, the booklet supports our position that it is appropriate to have medical information from your physician, as described above, which is specific to your needs, and which advises us what your specific workplace restrictions and needs are, as well as any accommodation measures which we can provide to you specifically. 


You also mentioned that you felt the climate of redacted has shifted “dramatically”.  We do not believe that to be the case.  If there is any particular workplace issue you feel has changed dramatically (Uh you and all of this since we became unionized?), please let us know so that we may take proactive measures to ensure there is nothing happening in the workplace that is negatively affecting your medical condition and/or your ability to work (again all of this is causing me anxiety).  If you are referring to issues that are not related to your own medical situation, please also advise us what you mean, since we want to be proactive in correcting any problems or issues in our workplace.


I also wanted to address your comment that you felt you were attacked in our conversation during our meeting on January 25th.  I can assure you this was not our goal or intention.  Our purpose in meeting with you was to discuss your attendance issue and your ability to perform your workplace duties.  It was also to advise you of the impact your irregular attendance is having on redacted ability and requirement to meet its program goals.  We also want to understand how we might be able to accommodate your needs.  It is our hope that you do not think there was any intention to attack you personally, as that is not the case.


You also mentioned we used the word “honest” in our discussions.  We did not mean to suggest you are not being “honest” or forthright with us.  What we meant by using the word honest is that we require medical information from your doctor so that we can make an honest assessment of your needs and requirements, and so that you can make an honest assessment as to whether you will be able to achieve regular, full-time attendance in the foreseeable future. (Yeah that’s what ‘honest’ means) We are not questioning your personal honesty or integrity.


As you probably know, an employer has a duty to accommodate an employee with a medical disability.  As well, an employee also has a duty to participate with the employer in the efforts to accommodate the employee, and provide the medical information from your physician as requested so that we may do our best to ensure you have regular attendance at work, perform your employment duties in a satisfactory manner, meet redacted program goals, and at the same time ensure we are meeting your needs for accommodation.


In addition to requesting your doctor specifically answer in writing the five questions outlined above, I have provided a further form for your doctor to complete.  Please arrange to see him and return the form, along with the answers to the five questions set out above, by Friday, March 2, 2018 (a fucking week!) If you feel you are not able to meet this deadline for submission of the medical information, please let me know when it is likely that you will be able to provide it to us.


You mentioned you will seek union assistance.  While you are, of course, free to talk to your union representative should you wish to do so, I would merely mention that, at this point in time, we do not have a Collective Agreement with the union and, as such, our obligation is to deal with you directly.  Having said that, we will, of course, talk to your union representatives should you instruct them to do so.


I look forward to receiving the medical information from you by the above-referenced deadline.  In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me or redacted


Kind Regards,



Human Resources Manager’

6 years of my time. I cannot help but think of it as a fucking waste.


9 thoughts on “What human rights?”

  1. This is absolutely ridiculous! They are treating you and your illness worse than they do in the states,which says a lot! I am so sorry you are being treated so unfairly. This isn’t right at all. Please take care of you and do what is best for you!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so sorry Angela. You do not deserve to be forced to go through all of this, it just isn’t fair or right! I hope you are able to spend the week relaxing and taking care of yourself. You need a break from the other BS you are dealing with!!


    1. I’ve been in touch with one, who has said that since I’m unionized I have to go through that avenue. However, because a collective agreement hasn’t been signed my recourse is limited to filing a human rights complaint and not a grievance through the union. I feel trapped.


  2. Heck, that is one long response that goes around without ever quite shooting straight. I understand the need to see medical notes/records etc (my employer asked me for this when I was on ongoing leave due to surgeries) but I was also a bit miffed by them talking about accommodations because, like you, I never asked for any! This must be upping your anxiety and stress massively, I’m so sorry you’re having to go through all of this. What’s your next step..? x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Worse than a politician right? 😬 thanks for commenting…my union thinks I should file a human rights complaint…I don’t know. I think I’m gonna take some time off. I’ve been feeling awful..I don’t even know

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very tough call to make… I think human rights would be worth considering, but then you have to weigh it up with how much extra stress it’ll cause you, and whether you personally think it’s worth it. You’ve been with the company for so long and with everything you’ve got going on I can appreciate how anxiety-ridden it would be to think of taking time off or looking elsewhere work-wise, weighing up your options, though perhaps this is a sign that something needs to change. I don’t know, it’s entirely your call (sorry I can’t offer any decent advice here!) x


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