An employee who refused to wear a mask at work is dismissed by a court | Coronavirus

An employee who refused to wear a mask at work is dismissed by a court | Coronavirus

The Tribunal instead concluded that the employee was dismissed because he had displayed aggressive, bellicose, disrespectful behavior and comments intimidating.

An employee who stubbornly refused to wear a mask at work, after the announcement of a government decree to deal with COVID-19, and who had filed a complaint with the Tribunal alleging that he had been dismissed because of ;an absence for illness, has just lost his case.

The Administrative Labor Tribunal ruled that it was rather his aggressive, belligerent, disrespectful behavior, his insubordination, his intimidating words that resulted in his being fired, not his sick leave.

Hired as a packer, the man had opposed wearing a face covering as soon as the government decree imposing it was announced in April 2021.

The very next day, he had gone to a walk-in medical clinic and had given his employer a medical certificate attesting to his inability to work until he could meet his attending physician.

However, while he was off work, he went to the rest room and filmed his colleagues with his mobile phone. He maintained that he was going to save his colleagues, reports the Tribunal.

A few days later, he submitted a new medical certificate attesting that he was fit to return to work subject to certain restrictions. But these restrictions were not specified. The employer had tried unsuccessfully to find out more about these restrictions.

The tone had risen, the employee had made aggressive remarks towards the human resources adviser, shouting.

He also showed up at his supervisor's office, unmasked, aggressive. He had asked her to leave immediately. The man held up his medical certificate in front of the supervisor. A heated altercation ensued, reports the Tribunal. The employee had shouted near the face of his supervisor, without a mask. The supervisor had pushed him away; the two men had pushed each other.

The employee had filed a complaint with the police against his supervisor, following this altercation. Informed of this complaint, the supervisor had filed a complaint in turn. The two complaints were ultimately not followed up and no charges had been brought against either of the two men, reports the Tribunal.

In its decision, the Court recalls that an employee who alleges functional restrictions to carry out his work must inform his employer of the nature of these – which the employee refused to do, on the pretext that ;he did not have to provide the requested medical information.

“He is stubborn, stubbornly refuses to wear a face covering without medical justification, putting the employer on a dead end. »

— Line Lanseigne, administrative judge in her judgment

Added to this insubordination is reprehensible conduct. The Court holds that the plaintiff showed up unexpectedly in the rest room, without a face covering, that he made intimidating remarks there and that he filmed his colleagues without authorization, adds- she. She also retains the fact that it was he who was the instigator of the altercation with his supervisor.

For his part, the employee had pleaded that he was the victim of hostile acts.

The Tribunal ruled that it was rather his untimely, belligerent behavior that deteriorated the working climate and disrupted the operation of the business.

There is no doubt that the Complainant's conduct was unacceptable. It is therefore his misconduct and his insubordination which are the real reasons for his dismissal and not his absence for illness, he concludes. His complaint was therefore dismissed.

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