Man Fired After 8 Days On The Job, Awarded 90 Large By Ontario Human Rights Tribunal

The OHRC decision was made last year. Last week, it held up on appeal. Here’s the story:

[Financial Post, Sept 10 2008] Firing an employee for not disclosing his medical condition can be a very expensive error.

A few weeks after the terrorist attacks on the United States, Paul Lane applied for a job at ADGA, assisting it to develop software for the Department of National Defence. During his interview with the manager, Miranda Corbett, Lane failed to disclose he had bipolar disorder. He also lied about the number of sick days he had taken during the preceding 12 months.

Four days after he was hired, he told Corbett about his condition and that he would require time off if he began to experience a “manic episode.” He also said, if he began to show symptoms of rapid speech and extreme restlessness, management was to immediately contact his wife or doctor.

Following this meeting, he began to exhibit erratic behaviour. For example, much to the surprise of the program manager, he sent this e-mail: “Thanks a Million! Luv and Kisses. Paul.” The following week, Lane’s symptoms escalated to paranoia. He reported receiving death threats and hearing explosions in the building. This was obviously worrisome to a department assisting National Defence so soon after the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001…

They canned him. Ooops. There goes $90, 000.

The breakdown:

  • $35,000 in general damages for injury to his dignity and self-worth;
  • $10,000 for reckless infliction of mental anguish;
  • $34,278.75 for loss of salary;
  • pre- and post-judgment interest on the above sums

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