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November 24 2015

Human Rights Ruling Says Manitoba Woman Was Addicted To Alcohol, Unjustly Fired

A human rights adjudicator has ruled a Manitoba woman who was fired for alcohol consumption was discriminated against because she was addicted to alcohol. The adjudicator has ordered the woman to be reinstated, given three years back pay and an additional $10,000 for injury to her dignity and self-respect. The case involves Linda Horrocks, who worked as a healthcare aide. Evidence presented at a human rights board hearing shows Horrocks was frequently absent from work in 2011 and was suspended after being intoxicated on the job. Her employer made Horrocks sign an agreement to abstain from alcohol both on and off the job, and she was fired a year later when she was suspected of drinking outside of work. The adjudicator's ruling says the regional health authority discriminated against Horrocks because it did not accommodate her alcohol addiction or consult with experts about conditions for her returning to work.