Manitoba Woman Reinstated In Job After Being Drunk

Addiction problems are terrible yet they are not diseases. Calling them such removes any responsibility on the part of the person who has the problem. This case sets a terrible precedent:

A Manitoba health care worker who was fired for her alcohol addiction has been reinstated and awarded more than three years of back pay in a ruling that is likely to have wide-reaching implications.

Linda Horrocks was discriminated against for her “alcohol-related disability,” and her employer did not accommodate her special needs, the Manitoba Human Rights Commission said in a decision released Tuesday.

On June 3, 2011, Horrocks was suspended without pay from her job as an aide at the Northern Lights Manor nursing home in Flin Flon, Man., after a co-worker suspected she’d come to work inebriated. She was fired on July 20, 2011, and again April 30, 2012, after she allegedly broke an abstinence agreement.

The Northern Regional Health Authority “violated the complainant’s rights … by unfairly depriving her of an opportunity to participate in the workplace,” adjudicator Sherri Walsh wrote.

Horrocks admitted to her employer that she had an alcohol problem and agreed to seek treatment but was terminated after she refused to sign a memo stating she would abstain from alcohol. She was set to return to work nearly a year later, having decided to sign the agreement, but was once again let go by the NRHA, which said it had received two reports she’d been intoxicated outside the workplace.

Horrocks denied both allegations.

“An addiction to alcohol constitutes an illness and falls within the meaning of disability under the (Human Rights) Code,” adjudicator Sherri Walsh wrote.

“I conclude, therefore, that the complainant was treated adversely by the respondent and that her disability was a factor in that adverse treatment.”

The NRHA “(failed) to make reasonable efforts towards accommodating the complainant’s disability and associated needs.”

Walsh ordered the NRHA to reinstate Horrocks to a position and salary suited to her seniority, and pay her for wages lost since her termination – a first in Manitoba, according to a statement from the commission.

Walsh also ordered the NRHA to pay Horrocks $10,000 to compensate her for “injury to her dignity, feelings or self-respect” and to implement a “reasonable accommodation policy” within three months.

  • The Butterfly

    It boggles this butterfly’s mind.

    • Surele Surele

      I give up. I just give up.

  • AmicusC

    “by unfairly depriving her of an opportunity to participate in the workplace”
    what the hell is unfair about saying don’t be drunk?

    • Surele Surele

      a new euphemism for being fired with a cause.

  • Clinton

    A drunk health care worker that cannot be fired. Because what could
    go wrong?

  • topposter

    Time to put “Alcoholic” on my resume. Go ahead, don’t hire me. I dare you! lol

  • Ed

    “Human rights” commissions are a busybody social engineer’s wet dream. You get to dress your personal policy preferences up in legal drag, and you don’t have to get your ideas veted through the ballot box.

  • Bataviawillem

    We are stepping on a very slippery slope.

    • Surele Surele

      we’re half way down

  • Frances

    Shouldn’t the residents at the care home have the right to be cared for by someone who isn’t stoned – whether on alcohol or other substances?

  • pdxnag

    Was the adjudicator drunk?

  • glasnost

    Manitoba is still ruled by NDP. Poor Manitobans, they elected NDP. They still have abusive human rights bodies. The wanker who decided this case is not a judge she is only an appointed apparatchik wannabe who possibly has difficulty making it as a lawyer but instead is a member of the Manitoba group of Human Rights Adjudicators.

    In Saskatchewan, we don’t have a perfect government, but at least since the Human Rights Tribunal was disbanded we no longer have these quasi-judicial human rights zealots sitting in judgment. In Saskatchewan, cases like the one under discussion are ultimately judged in a real court of law, such as it is.

  • Exile1981

    So they followed the law and asked her to take a 12 step program and refrain from alcohol and she tefused so she sued them?

    If i had a family member in that home i’d sue the human rights idiot who made this ruling over their safety.

  • JoKeR
    • disqusW6sf

      ain’t that the truth.

  • Edubeat

    Next on the National Medicinal marijuana at work Should it be allowed Yes says Justin Trudope (Inhale) Man is that some good shit! (exhale)

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    I guess she got that one because she didn’t have to drive to get to work as part of her conditions of employment.

  • JohnfromToronto

    Lewis Carroll and George Orwell just had no imagination. Neither of them could come up with something like this.