After accidentally falling down her own steps and injuring herself while on her way to her lunch break, an Air Canada call center agent who was working from home during the pandemic has gained the right to workers’ compensation.
Despite the fact that the employee has already recovered and returned to work, she filed a claim for the time she was unwell.
Air Canada denied the claim, claiming it was not liable for an employee injury that occurred outside of work and on the individual’s own time.
The Administrative Labour Court of Quebec, on the other hand, concurred with the employee, ruling that Air Canada must pay 90 percent of the employee’s earnings during their sick leave.
On September 25, 2020, the employee, Alexandria Gentile-Patti, was receiving calls for Air Canada in her first-floor office, working the 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. schedule that Air Canada had assigned her. She took a break from her workstation at a predetermined time and went downstairs for her lunch break.
She had gotten five steps down when she slipped, lost her equilibrium, and fell to her left side, injuring herself. Ms Gentile-Patti immediately alerted her supervisor and filled out an accident report at work.
Ms Gentile-claim Patti’s for compensation was denied by Air Canada, which stated the accident did not occur at work.
At the tribunal, Air Canada’s lawyer argued that the accident occurred outside of Ms Gentile-“personal Patti’s sphere,” rather than on the job.
Air Canada claimed the accident had nothing to do with employment, and that it had no control over what Ms Gentile-Patti did in her private house or the upkeep of her home.
That argument failed to persuade judge Philippe Bouvier, who reasoned that it didn’t matter where the accident occurred as long as it could be proven that it was caused by a “unexpected and sudden incident” that happened at work.
Judge Bouvier concluded that the accident was an unexpected and sudden incident that occurred at work since Air Canada allocates specified periods for Ms Gentile-Patti to be at work and take breaks.
This was due to the fact that Ms Gentile-Patti was only on the stairwell at the precise moment of the tragedy because she was adhering to Air Canada’s timetable.
“The fall of Mrs. Gentile-Patti, which occurs a few moments after disconnecting from her workstation to go to dinner, represents an unexpected and sudden event that occurs during work. She, therefore, suffered an employment injury,” Judge Bouvier ruled.