If you slapped your boss, would you expect your job back? No, you'd expect to be fired and stay fired.
That's not what happened when Naim Rahmani slapped his boss back in 2012.
The Ottawa Sun reports that “according to a Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board ruling, the government discriminated against Transport Canada engineer Naim Rahmani by ignoring evidence that his violence was related to a mental health problem.”
In 2009, Rahmani had a bad relationship with fellow engineer Patrick Desbiens and requested either a transfer or unpaid leave. Both his requests were refused.
During three years, Rahmani took several sick leaves, backed by medical certificates.
However, in 2012, after he returned to work from a three-week sick leave, he found out Desbiens had become his new boss.
Rahmani rushed into Desbiens' office and when he was asked to leave, he refused.
The Ottawa Sun says “Desbiens stood up and turned toward Rahmani, who slapped his face, knocking his glasses to the floor.”
They go on to say that “Rahmani told an internal investigation that he pushed Desbiens back into his chair in a “defensive move” and followed him out of the office to ensure he didn’t exaggerate what happened.”
Rahmani’s union representative provided management with a medical certificate that suggested a health condition or related medication could explain his act of violence.
In 2013, a government medical officer concluded that Rahmani was unfit to work and in April, Transport Canada fired him.
Rahmani grieved the termination and argued the punishment was excessive and it ignored his mental health condition.
Despite Government lawyer Michel Girard saying that no medical evidence could justify an act of physical violence and all federal workers are subject to the same rules, the labour relations board rejected the idea.
Board member Marie-Claire Perrault said the employer was “obligated to consider the situation’s medical aspect, which it did not.”
She added that Rahmani should have been suspended, but not fired.
Perrault ordered the government to immediately reinstate Rahmani and restore his lost seniority and pension benefits. In addition, she awarded him $25,000 in damages under terms of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Ridiculous? Sounds like it. Did this actually happen? Unfortunately.
SOUND OFF: what would happen if you slapped your boss?