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Question 2

“I need to take days off using my sick days because I have a medical condition that flares up occasionally. I am worried about Attendance Management. What should I do?”

Sick time, Attendance Management, and the Duty to Accommodate

  • If you are ill, it is your right to use your paid sick time for your personal illness or medical appointments. (Section C 6.00 in the Collective Agreement)
  • Paid sick time is Code 01 on SmartFind
  • If you have a medical condition that ‘flares up’ occasionally like migraines, IBS, anxiety, this is known as an “underlying medical condition”.
  • Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, the HDSB has a duty to accommodate ‘disability’, and an underlying medical condition is a form of disability that the HDSB must accommodate where possible.
  • The HDSB has a department in Human Resources called “Health and Wellness” who are responsible for helping to support its employee’s accommodations.
  • The ‘Ability Specialists’ in this department are tasked with supporting a particular HDSB employee with their unique accommodation needs. The Ability Specialists are assigned to individual schools and support all of the worker groups at that location
  • The Ability Specialist needs to know your restrictions and limitations from the underlying medical condition. This information is submitted on a special form called a “Functional Abilities Form”. Do not confuse this with a “Doctor’s note”.
  • The HDSB will reimburse members for medical information that is requested by them.
  • The Ability Specialist supports your needs in the workplace and can ‘support periodic absences’ so that the absences are not counted for attendance management.
  • For Attendance Management, the HDSB does not count days the Ability Specialist ‘supports’ under their ‘duty to accommodate’ and the absences due to your underlying medical condition are not counted by the attendance management program.

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