Surrey school district has lost a bid to dismiss a complaint filed by a former employee with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
Karen Lessey, a special education assistant, alleges the school district discriminated against her based on physical and mental disability.
Lessey was employed as a special education assistant from Dec. 3, 2002 to March 30, 2010.
She was fired for misuse of sick days and absenteeism. The school district denies the discrimination.
According to the school district, Lessey called in sick and then worked for another employer, Milieu Family Services, later that same day on 13 occasions over a twoyear period.
Staff also noted a pattern where Lessey was reporting sick with the school district on Thursdays, after having worked with Milieu Saturday through to Wednesday.
In its letter of termination, the school district concluded that Lessey's sick-leave claims and working for another employer on the same day, even though the shifts didn't overlap, were a "theft of time and a serious breach of trust."
In her complaint, Lessey alleges that she suffers from a specific medical condition and that her primary use of sick leave was due to her condition and not abuse of it.
Due to her condition, Lessey contends that her symptoms were more prevalent in the morning.
In a decision dated Aug. 31, 2011, the tribunal denied the respondents' application to dismiss.
Lessey's complaint of discrimination against the school district continues before the tribunal.