Decisions like these are reasons why the public service has such a bad rap with the Canadian public, what an embarrassment and is also the reason that businesses stopped locating in Canada and have taken their business elsewhere.
I see a lot wrong here, and while we were provided with some of the details, we do not have the full story, so it is difficult to judge. To me, based on the information provided, it sounds like this woman was taking advantage of her employer, as well as the benefits and concessions afforded to her. It seems to me that there was a breakdown in communication / expectations between her and her supervisor, and then began the defensive posturing to keep her position - harassment complaint (dismissed), sick leave, anxiety diagnosis, stress leave, etc, etc. This would have ensured that she could continue to get paid and continue her education at the same time. It is expected that she would have required this paycheck to continue her education and lifestyle. While away from work she enrolled in additional courses and took another job, possibly because her support payments from government while on leave were not sufficient on their own. That she continued her schooling and took a new job is evidence to me that whatever anxiety she suffered from was not debilitating. All this while her doctor told her to not communicate with direct supervisors, and not return to work without seeing a psychologist. The article did not note whether she was prescribed medication for her disorder, or if "time off" was the treatment. To me, her termination seems justified, and if her work for the government was indeed so troubling to her, she should have considered resigning. The cherry on top is that she was seeking six years of lost wages, on top of all of that was already given to her. Based on this article, I would say that this woman is selfish and greedy.
Decisions like these are reasons that businesses stopped locating in Canada and have taken their business elsewhere.
The Ottawa Citizen is of course located in Ottawa, which of course, has a large population of civil servants. Hence the results of this poll.
If a person needs a medical break from a troubled work experience, but is expected to overcome the trouble and to return healthy, that's one thing. If a person has to languish at home for months and 'do nothing', that invites its own set of potential troubles, not least of which would be abject boredom. Pursuing self-development seems like a good decision because it is empowering and potentially restorative. I have no problem with this aspect. After some thinking, I don't feel she did anything wrong. What if she were employed and working normal hours, but was also acquiring a PhD, and was asked to instruct? Do you feel she ought to have done so for nothing? Would you?
The thing is, "harassment/bullying" can be completely in the eye of the beholder. She claims "harassment" but the other side is just doing their job perhaps as a manager imposing discipline to an employee. The problem is these government workers thing they're untouchable and start taking full advantage of the system to claim "harassment/bullying" anytime things are going the way they want at work. Now under the guise of this new "medical condition", they take full advantage and start doing things like school / classes to go into another field altoghether, while collecting a salary from their government job. They just play the system for their own personal benefit and if their new career doesn't work out, they come back to the government. If it works out, then they fight tooth and nail to drain as much from the government as they can (harassment, now "discrimination" on their "medical condition") and then go to their new career. Its really really pathetic. She got caught but of course now she's playing the medical condition - discriminatory card.
She was receiving treatment while off work from a hostile environment where the harassment/bullying she faced was not dealt with properly. Returning to work would have made her condition worse. I don't think she should have been a teacher's assistant, but I see no problem with her taking classes while off work, as long as she was still able to get her treatment/therapy, and as long as the classes didn't negatively impact her condition, and as long as she will willing to quit the classes if her doctors declared her healthy to return to work..
Just another example of a government employee taking advantage of the system. Abusing the policies and furthering her personal career on taxpayer's dime.
This question is far to open ended. Do I agree the termination should be upheld - yes. Do I agree with all aspects of the decision - no. The question needs clarity - please try to be more concise in future questions.