Drunk driver gets hospi­tal job back af­ter jail time

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD -

FRED­ER­IC­TON — A New Brunswick hospi­tal has been or­dered to re-hire a lab em­ployee who was fired af­ter he didn’t go to work for more than a month.

That’s be­cause the em­ployee, Paul Lynch, was in jail for his sev­enth drunk-driv­ing-re­lated con­vic­tion.

Labour ad­ju­di­ca­tor John McEvoy said the 2015 fir­ing was im­proper — Lynch did not know he was go­ing to be jailed, and was un­able to con­tact his bosses to tell them why he stopped go­ing to work. Fur­ther, said McEvoy, Lynch was fired by reg­is­tered mail sent to his home, even though the hospi­tal was aware of ru­mours Lynch had been jailed. “Had the ru­mour been that Lynch was in hospi­tal, one won­ders if the em­ployer’s re­sponse would have been the same,” McEvoy wrote in a re­cent de­ci­sion.

Lynch had worked for 12 years at the Doc­tor Everett Chalmers Hospi­tal in Fred­er­ic­ton, ster­il­iz­ing the secure lab and en­sur­ing med­i­cal sam­ples and tests were not con­tam­i­nated. He had been dis­ci­plined pre­vi­ously for hav­ing al­co­hol on the job, and for unau­tho­rized leave.

On Nov. 11, 2015, he hit a sign on a high­way of­framp, and left the scene.

He says he told a co-worker Nov. 12 about a court ap­pear­ance the fol­low­ing day, and joked if he didn’t show up for work “it will be be­cause I’m in jail.” He never re­turned to work. He pleaded guilty the next day to hav­ing care and con­trol of a ve­hi­cle while im­paired. Be­cause of his prior con­vic­tions, he was re­manded pend­ing sen­tenc­ing, and later sen­tenced to six months in jail. Lynch said he never had a chance to use a phone to con­tact his em­ployer, and that no one came to his hear­ing who could have made the call for him.

“No one who is con­victed and sen­tenced to im­pris­on­ment for a lim­ited term in New Brunswick should face the Kafka-like sit­u­a­tion faced by Lynch in re­spect of his in­abil­ity to con­tact his em­ployer. Here, cit­i­zens taken into cus­tody by po­lice and Cor­rec­tions staff do not seem­ingly ‘dis­ap­pear’ as did Lynch,” said McEvoy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.