IN THE MATTER OF THE SASKATCHEWAN EMPLOYMENT ACT  
AND IN THE MATTER OF A GRIEVANCE FILED PURSUANT TO A COLLECTIVE  
AGREEMENT  
Between:  
Service Employees International Union -West (Sharon Nordick, Grievor),  
Union  
- and -  
The Saskatchewan Heath Authority,  
Employer  
Re:  
Grievance #2018-G-04040  
Heard: Via Zoom Video: October 26 to 30, 2020  
February 24 to 26, 2021  
March 9, 2021  
Before:  
Anne M. Wallace, QC, Arbitrator  
For the Union:  
For the Employer:  
Heather M. Jensen and Samantha Neill  
Paul Clemens  
Award  
I.  
Introduction  
1. Under an order of the Saskatchewan Labour Relations Board, the Service  
Employees International Union - West (“SEIU” or the “Union”) is the certified  
bargaining agent for a group of employees employed by the Saskatchewan Health  
Authority (“SHA” or the “Employer”).  
2. The parties were subject to a Collective Agreement between the Saskatchewan  
Association of Health Organizations Inc. and SEIU for the period April 1, 2012, to  
March 31, 2017, but which remained in effect at the time of the circumstances of the  
Grievance (the “Collective Agreement”).  
3. By Grievance Report dated July 31, 2018, the Union filed Grievance 2018-G-04040  
(the “Grievance”) on behalf of Cynthia Sharon Nordick (“Nordick” or the “Grievor”).  
The Statement of Grievance says:  
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Employer has declared undue hardship before all possible accommodation avenues have  
been able to be explored, in violation of the CBA and relevant employment legislation.  
4. The Settlement Desired is:  
For the Employer to reinstate Grievor to employed status further to the duty to  
accommodate, and for the Grievor to in every way be made whole.  
5. The SHA denied the Grievance. The parties were unable to resolve the Grievance  
and they appointed me to hear and determine the matter. The parties agreed I am  
properly constituted to hear the Grievance and that I have jurisdiction to hear and  
decide the Grievance.  
6. The Union called the following witnesses:  
1. Dr. Zane Tymchak, Nordick’s family physician;  
2. Sharon Nordick, the Grievor;  
3. Rhonda Stewart, SEIU Union Representative;  
4. Angela Hosni, SEIU Deputy Director.  
7. The Employer called the following witnesses:  
1. Kweku Johnson, SHA Scheduling Manager;  
2. Brad Kovach, SHA Accommodation Consultant at relevant times;  
3. Angela Gillespie (Schultz), SHA Accommodation Consultant at relevant  
times;  
4. Diane Dagg, SHA Accommodation Consultant at relevant times;  
5. Brent Latimer, former Supervisor of Nordick.  
II.  
Evidence  
8. In addition to the oral evidence of the witnesses, the parties filed several volumes of  
documents, many of which were never referred to during the hearing or identified as  
relevant in any way. The witnesses referred to numerous documents during their  
testimony. To say most of the witnesses “jumped around” a lot during their  
testimony is an understatement. To make proper sense of the evidence, I have  
combined the witness evidence with the content of the documents in this largely  
chronological history so that the reader can see how events unfolded.  
9. I will deal with the weigh, relevance and credibility of evidence as necessary in the  
Analysis section of this Award.  
10. I note that throughout the summary of evidence and the discussion of the issues, I  
will sometimes use short forms including:  
“3S” or “3S Health” to refer to the third party disability insurance carrier  
for the SHA.  
“AC” to refer to the Accommodation Consultants who work in EWA.  
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“CBA” to refer to the Collective Agreement.  
Code” to refer to The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, SS 1979, c  
S-24.1, which was in effect at all times material to this case.  
“DIP” to refer to disability income plan.  
“DTA” to refer to duty to accommodate.  
“EI” to refer to Employment Insurance.  
“EPH” to refer to the Environmental Public Health Department of SHR,  
also previously known as “Safe Communities”.  
“EWA” to refer to the Employer’s Employee Wellness and  
Accommodation office, sometimes also referred to by witnesses as  
“Wellness”.  
“MCS” to refer to multiple chemical sensitivity.  
“OHS” to refer to occupational health and safety.  
“PHI(s)” to refer to Public Health Inspector(s).  
“PPE” to refer to personal protective equipment.  
SEA” to refer to the Saskatchewan Employment Act.  
“SHR” or “SHA” to refer to the Employer. Nordick’s Employer at the  
relevant times was originally the Saskatoon Health Region (“SHR”)  
which merged into the Saskatchewan Health Authority (“SHA”) in about  
2017. I will use these terms interchangeably to review to the Employer.  
“WCB” to refer to the Workers’ Compensation Board.  
Witnesses  
Dr. Zane  
Tymchak  
Dr. Zane Tymchak is a family physician who has practiced for more than 35 years.  
He is a member of the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons. Sharon  
Nordick has been his patient for somewhere between 20 and 25 years. There has  
been no set pattern of her attendances, but the doctor estimates she usually sees  
him three to four or five times a year. The main elementsfor which Nordick has  
seen the doctor is multiple chemical sensitivity (“MCS”).  
Tymchak began his testimony with some general comments about MCS and  
Nordick’s experience. When two or more chemicals, usually inhaled, produce  
symptoms in the body they can affect multiple organs including skin, respiratory,  
brain, lungs, and digestive. The symptoms appear when the person goes into an  
environment where the chemicals are present and go away when the person  
leaves. Repeated exposure also causes symptoms. The presentation symptoms  
can change over time, and new symptoms can be involved.  
Over time, Nordick has had relatively mild to very severe symptoms. On one  
occasion she went to emergency with shortness of breath and had to be treated  
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there. Other symptoms have included headache, irritation to eyes, difficulty  
breathing, scratchy throat, brain fog, cloudy thinking, abdominal pain and diarrhea.  
As far as he recalls the most acute and severe is difficulty breathing. Nordick’s  
symptoms have impacted her employment and her personal life and she has had  
to give up social interactions because she was not able to be in those  
environments and be well.  
Tymchak recalls that Nordick had to take time off work. He does not remember the  
number of times, but he recalls attempts made to modify her duties with fewer  
hours and fewer days. He does not recall the number of days she missed or those  
sorts of things. He thought that “at the very basic and important is avoidance of  
exposure”. The workplace was posted has scent free. That was ninety or a very  
high percentage of the problem. That could take care of most of the symptoms  
Nordick was experiencing in the workplace. If Nordick could not work in the scent-  
free environment, then she needed to be moved to work in a place where she was  
known to feel better which could have been in her own home. The job lent itself to  
working from home. She just needed a computer. There might also have been  
reduced hours as an early recommendation.  
Tymchak does not recall that the condition never went away. It just continued to  
occur in the workplace. When Nordick was home for awhile she would feel better. It  
seemed to take longer and longer for her to recover. Initially a day or so away from  
the offending substance was enough, but over time that was not long enough and it  
would spill to the following week.  
Tymchak’s evidence with respect to his treatment of Nordick is set out  
chronologically in this summary.  
Tymchak agreed that Nordick was proactive in seeking a solution for her issues.  
She looked things up online and asked questions about different things that could  
be done. She focused on feeling better and continuing to do work. She never  
complained about her workplace in terms of the work itself. It was about how she  
was feeling when she was there. Tymchak thinks Nordick was compliant with  
recommendations, but he felt a lot of the problems were beyond her control.  
Asked to explain what information his diagnosis of Nordick’s MCS is based on,  
Tymchak said MCS involves more than one chemical that produces a variety of  
symptoms on a repeated basis in a given environment. The diagnosis is made  
when other causes are not present. He has done some reading, and he spoke to  
Dr. Koehncke about it shortly after Dr. Koehncke saw Nordick. “I have looked it up  
online mostly. There is not a lot in texts at this time.”  
In cross examination:  
Tymchak agreed that he is not qualified as an expert in MCS. He said MCS is a  
“well-known entity”, but there is not a lot of hard science about it yet, which is  
the case with a lot of other areas as well. Tymchak agreed there is still some  
debate about whether MCS is organic or non-organic.  
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He agreed that he did not provide copies of his letters to WCB and 3S Health to  
the SHA.  
Tymchak acknowledged that he did not physically attend Nordick’s work spaces  
or assess them. Tymchak agreed he only saw Nordick a few times shortly after  
an exposure, but that at those times, Nordick had obvious symptoms.  
Tymchak agreed there are no clinical or lab tests available to diagnose MCS,  
but there are tests to exclude other causes of symptoms when someone goes  
into an environment. Tymchak has never seen any research that suggests MCS  
is related to mental health.  
Tymchak agrees that, in addition to her issues with scents, Nordick had a lot of  
other issues including issues with paper dust, carrots, essential oils, vodka,  
tequila and others. Nordick could be tested for some of those, but not for others.  
Tilex was another thing Nordick reacted to at one point.  
Tymchak agreed that at no point did he ever suggest that the only  
accommodation that would work for Nordick would be if she worked from home.  
he was just giving suggestions. He didn’t think it was his place to tell the SHA  
what to do. They have to find their own solutions. At one point he suggested  
that working from home might be a good option. He never said it was the one  
and only.  
In re-examination:  
Nordick confirmed that her resume which reflects her employment history is in  
the Employer’s personnel file.  
Sharon  
Nordick  
Nordick was born April 2, 1958. She lives on her own about eleven miles west of  
Saskatoon. She graduated with honours from Saskatoon Business College with a  
secretarial course and has a Special Care Aide Certificate, as well as a Small  
Business Accounting Certificate. She has not been employed since SHA  
terminated her employment in 2018.  
Nordick has had many jobs over the years. She worked for several law firms in  
Humboldt and Saskatoon as well as the Department of Justice in Saskatoon. She  
also worked at various hospital sites doing secretarial work as well as nursing care.  
She once ran and operated her own company from July 1, 1977, to August of  
2009. Nordick began working at Quill Plain Centennial Lodge as early as 1980. It is  
now part of the health region. She worked payroll at City Hospital and then went to  
scheduling at St. Paul’s Hospital. From there, she transferred to Safe Communities  
which is now known as Environmental Public Health at the Idylwyld Centre in  
Saskatoon.  
In cross-examination:  
Nordick confirmed that she first started work with SHA in 1980 at Centennial  
Lodge. Her son was born in 1980. She was living in Watson and worked for the  
lodge for many years from August 1980 to March 1988. The home is now  
affiliated with the health region. She worked at Parkridge Centre in Saskatoon  
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from 1988 to 1990, then with some law firms and law related organizations and  
then worked at Porteous Lodge in September of 2000.  
Rhonda  
Stewart  
Rhonda Stewart started work with the former Saskatoon Health Region in 2001 in a  
clerical role at Sherbrooke. She also worked at a couple other sites. She was a  
Scheduler from 2006 to 2015, following which she went to SEIU as a staff  
representative. With SEIU, she has worked in the Member Resource Center  
fielding questions about the CBA and as a staff rep with a portfolio and in a benefits  
role in the capacity of back-up for Marilyn Irwin when Irwin is not available in that  
role. The Member Resource Centre is a call center.  
The benefits service SEIU provides is to assist members who are experiencing  
difficulties who have been denied disability benefits and to assist the staff reps with  
accommodations, particularly accommodations that may be more difficult where  
the Employer is going down the path of unable to accommodate. They also assist  
with attendance support when it reaches the higher levels of attendance support.  
When someone is denied benefits, they help them to gather the information they  
need to forward to the insurer in the hopes their appeal will be successful or their  
benefits will be approved.  
Stewart has a Grade 12 education. She was a member of SEIU when she was  
employed by the SHR. SEIU has about 13,000 members in Saskatchewan with  
about 16 staff reps. While she was employed with the region, Stewart was a shop  
steward on the floor. She was also the vice-chair of RUH group and was on the  
bargaining committee for SEUI and SAHO and on the executive board. She was a  
shop steward in the centralized scheduling department in an office in Avord Tower  
in downtown Saskatoon. Since Stewart left that employment in 2015, that office  
has been decentralized.  
When Stewart worked in Scheduling, they processed leave requests and booked  
people off sick or whatever reason they were booked off and replaced that shift  
with another employee to come to work following the CBA on hours and work and  
so on. Stewart had some experience processing transactions. A transaction she  
suspects is like entering a leave request or entering someone’s time off. Stewart  
never signed anything to say she would perform a minimum number of transactions  
per shift. She never signed a contract with the Employer where she agreed to a  
minimum volume of work and that she would be disciplined if she didn’t meet that.  
As a shop steward, Stewart was not aware of anyone being given minimum  
standards or contracts requiring minimum standards.  
The Union was not involved in the creation of the Employer’s policies on  
Professional Appearance and Dress Code or Duty to Accommodate.  
When Stewart worked in Scheduling, they would put in a leave request if someone  
wanted time off in the future for a day that maybe they weren’t working and they  
just wanted it to get a payout, but it would be included in their average hours.  
Stewart thinks now they have to go in the past to get a payout into a three- or four-  
week period where they are not over the fulltime hours. If you want a payout, you  
identify a day and book a day. If someone worked part-time hours, say three days  
a week Monday to Wednesday, and they wanted vacation pay, they would  
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designate Thursday as a holiday and then they would be paid out for that day.  
Stewart can’t say whether that was a common practice across the region, but she  
can say that was the process in the centralized scheduling office. The Scheduling  
office at the time was in Avord Tower and there were also schedulers working in  
Humboldt. At the time, they all had the same manager, and that was Kweku  
Johnson. The manager approves vacation requests, and the requests are granted  
based on the guidelines developed by the manager. Requests are not approved by  
an in-scope scheduler.  
In cross-examination:  
Stewart confirmed she last worked as a scheduler in 2015.  
Stewart agreed that under Article 3.01 of the CBA, if an employee is having  
performance issues, they can be disciplined. The Union’s position is that an  
employee can be subject to discipline if not they are not meeting performance  
expectations.  
Stewart acknowledged that Article 4.05 of the CBA deals with accommodations  
and return to work and that as part of the accommodation process it requires  
the parties to be flexible. The article shows how employees needing  
accommodation are to be placed and embodies the flexibility concept. It does  
not specifically say someone can return to work from home.  
Stewart agreed that during her time as a scheduler, all schedulers worked in an  
SHA facility.  
Angela Hosni Angela Hosni has worked with SEIU since December 2009. She started as a Union  
rep, then became a Member Resource Officer and then in 2017 became Deputy  
Director first on a temporary basis and then permanent.  
The Member Resources Centre is a provincial service call center for members to  
call the Union about the CBA, workplace issues in general, and legislation. As  
Deputy Director, Hosni is involved in contract interpretation, bargaining and the  
Member Resources Centre. She is the direct supervisor of the Member Resources  
Centre staff and the staff reps. If staff reps need more coverage or if they need  
help with a matter that has escalated, then Hosni helps out.  
Kelly Reynolds is a Union rep who was on leave at the time of the hearing. He was  
not available to the Union during that leave. Blair McDaid was a Union rep at one  
time but is no longer employed with SEIU. The Union has no means of contacting  
him.  
Kweku  
Johnson  
Kweku Johnson has been employed at SHA for well over 12 years. He started as a  
labour relations consultant with Saskatoon Health Region for six or seven years.  
He was responsible for long term care sites in Saskatoon and rural areas and dealt  
with all labour relations issues including performance, contract interpretation and  
management support needed by management staff. Then Johnson became  
Manager of Scheduling where he was responsible for central scheduling in the  
Saskatoon Health Region. He did that for three our four years and then that  
merged into Manager of HR Business Partners as well as Central Scheduling. In  
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that role, Johnson was responsible for rural business partners in scheduling as well  
as long term care in Saskatoon and public health business partners. That included  
all aspects of human resources including recruitment, workforce planning,  
accommodations, return to work and scheduling needs. From there, Johnson  
moved to his current role as Director of Human Resources Systems and Analytics.  
Johnson is working on the AIMS (Administration Information Management System)  
project which is a new human resources system meant to replace current  
scheduling, payroll, benefits, and recruitment systems. It involves the twelve  
previous health authorities as well as health care partners such as the  
Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.  
Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan and  
an MBA through the Australian Institute of Business.  
Johnson was Manager of Staff Scheduling from 2014 to 2018. When he started in  
the role of manager, they had a scheduling office in Avord Tower and offices in  
Humboldt and at Royal University Hospital. At the time, they supported around  
three to four thousand employees with their scheduling needs. At that time, it was a  
very manual process. You had to pick up phone and call. The schedulers received  
paper and entered it into system.  
The Region then moved towards a fully electronic system with automated phone  
calls, text messages and emails. Staff could apply for leaves online as well as  
apply for shifts online. That system was called ESP back end and front end. What  
employees saw at the time was called the NC Smart Call. The Region implemented  
that over two years and then brought the office at RUH back to Avord as well as  
started to expand the Humboldt office. During that time HR also changed their  
service model to an HR business model with reps on site. They also had senior  
schedulers on site. Short call, any needs in the next 48 hours, was centralized  
mainly in Humboldt.  
Johnson was Nordick’s manager when she worked in Scheduling from the Idylwyld  
Centre.  
Brad Kovach Brad Kovach has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of British  
Columbia in 2004. Since then, he has taken leadership courses through the former  
health region and now the health authority.  
Kovach has been employed at SHA since April of 2012. When he testified he was a  
Manager at Royal University Hospital’s Medical Device Reprocessing Department  
and had been there since April of 2020. From April 2012 to July 2015, he was an  
Employee Wellness and Accommodation (“EWA”) Consultant. He then went on to  
an HR Business Partner role and then on to Manager in Medical Device.  
As an EWA Consultant, Kovach’s duties included facilitating return to work and  
accommodation processes involving people with illness, WCB claims and SGI  
claims. He worked with WCB, SGI and others who provided medical for time off  
and for various medical requirements.  
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As an HR Business Partner, Kovach worked as a human resources generalist a  
little bit LR, a bit of employment, and a little bit of return to work. For return to work  
and accommodations, the business partners go back to EWA. Kovach’s role in  
Medical Devices involves managing people and scheduling. He still has  
interactions with HR.  
SHA has a Duty to Accommodate Policy that outlines a structure of how SHA  
accommodated people in the workplace. The policy identifies roles. It outlines  
definitions and responsibility and the goal to try to keep people in the workplace  
and accommodate them. The policy says the employee needs to tell the manager  
of any need for accommodation and provide objective medical evidence indicating  
the nature of illness and what is required for accommodation, whether it be lifting or  
some sort of other arrangements. The SHA needs sufficient medical on what is the  
need for the accommodation.  
Under Article 4.05 of the CBA, the employee is responsible to provide medical  
evidence of limitations or restrictions associated with a disability or illness or other  
circumstances. If the employee provides information that requires clarification, the  
Employer goes down that route. They need prognosis with or without limitations.  
The objective medical that is needed is medical with respect to fitness to perform  
duties and how long that is to last. SHA clarifies the request for medical in writing  
and gives it to the employee to be given to the medical practitioner. The CBA  
outlines the parties’ agreed upon process on how to accommodate. It has a list of  
the steps for return to work. If nothing can be found, the next step is to look into  
another bargaining unit. There is no specific “work from home” option listed in the  
CBA.  
The EWA group is to try to facilitate people who need time off with a return to work  
and accommodation process, just working through that process and providing  
support with regards to disability, essentially supporting employees to have the  
ability to come back to work in supportive manner. EWA consultants work with  
employees and managers and unions to be collaborative in that process.  
Everybody is different and everybody has different needs and requirements. EWA  
is responsible to deal with each situation.  
As a Consultant, Kovach was involved in Nordick’s accommodation process from  
August 2014 to early July 2015.  
In cross-examination:  
Kovach agreed that the Employer has a Professional Appearance and Dress  
Code policy that includes a scent-free policy. Asked to agree that this policy  
reflects the SHR’s policy at the time of Nordick’s issues, Kovach said he  
believed the SHR had an individual scent free policy. [He was incorrect on this.]  
Kovach agreed that the Employer has a Duty to Accommodate Policy that was  
approved September 12, 2011, and revised June 15, 2015. He agreed that the  
policy was not the product of negotiation between the Union and the Employer.  
Kovach agreed that this policy guided his work in his consultant role with the  
EWA.  
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Diane Dagg  
Diane Dagg has been employed with the SHA and former Saskatoon Health  
Region since March of 2007. She was with Prairie West from 1994 to 2005 and  
casual in what was later Heartland during 2004 and 2005.  
She has been the Interim Manager for Employee Wellness and Accommodation  
since March of 2018. She still holds a small caseload from the former Saskatoon  
rural area. The managers oversee the staff in the day-to-day operations and future  
planning processes.  
Dagg worked as an EWA consultant from 2007 to when she became the manager.  
The only break was for a year when she set up the incident report line that the  
former Saskatoon Region is still using. As a consultant, she worked with injured  
and ill employees and their medical providers to find when and how it was  
appropriate for return to work and to figure out accommodations. Accommodations  
could be short term or permanent. The EWA staff work under Saskatchewan  
human rights law and the CBA to work with people who are injured and ill and in  
the duty to accommodate processes. Dagg has extensive experience working with  
ill and injured workers to assist them with return to work and accommodation and  
to work with them to assist them with disability and WCB claims.  
SHA has a Professional Appearance and Dress Code policy intended to ensure  
that employees and physicians, all but patients, make sure they are dressed  
appropriately and promoting infection control. For example, they require closed toe  
shoes to prevent splatter. There is a scent policy in there as well. Personal hygiene  
is to make sure people are clean and present a positive image. There is a place in  
the policy about gel nails and nail polish. People need to wear appropriate clothing  
and if they are going into an infectious area, they have to wear proper PPE. There  
are rules about footwear and jewelry and other things that are there for infection  
control.  
Cosmetics need to be scent free. SHA has sent many employees home because  
they have come in with scents on. There is a poster about scent free that SHA puts  
up that says this is a scent free environment and quotes back to the policy number.  
You see these posters in the foyer every time you enter SHA buildings. They are  
also posted by the elevators.  
For the NAW (“Nursers’ Alumni Wing”) next to Saskatoon City Hospital, the ground  
floor and level one are involved in this file. When you walk in on the ground floor ,  
there is a set of glass doors on the west entrance. There was a poster there. Then,  
walking forward to the office area, there is a key pad area with two posters on the  
door and several posters throughout the ground floor. On the first floor, there are  
several posters posted around. SHA is very aware of scents on the ground floor  
and level one. There are several people who work there who are so sensitive they  
wear a mask when they walk through the building. They wear a mask until they get  
to their office space or when they go into the training room or wherever they are  
going outside of their space.  
Dagg recalls that, before she became involved in Nordick’s case, on her visits to  
the Idylwyld Centre for various reasons, she saw scent free posters in the lobby, at  
the elevator and near the stairs to the second level. There was a poster in the  
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Home Care area. When you walk in on the main floor open area, there are posters  
there. Those posters were still there when Dagg was involved in Nordick’s case.  
In 2017, when they were looking at space to accommodate Nordick at St. Paul’s  
Hospital, there were posters when you entered the building and usually some in the  
front at reception. She doesn’t recall the other places in the hospital where there  
may have been signs.  
SHA has a Duty to Accommodate Policy that sets out the guidelines for EWA to  
follow in the accommodation process. They work with this policy and the CBA.  
In cross-examination (February 26, 2021):  
Dagg agreed that she had been working from home since October of 2020. She  
goes into the office regularly to check in with staff and perform some functions  
she struggles with from home. This only started with the COVID pandemic  
when SHA had to change things drastically in 2020, including some of the  
security systems that came into place with E-health.  
Dagg said she does not have a work from home agreement. Dagg did not have  
to sign measurables connected to working from home.  
Counsel suggested that there is nothing in the Professional Appearance and  
Dress Code Policy that addresses things like laundry detergents, shampoo or  
other cleaning products in one’s personal hygiene whether scented or  
unscented. Dagg said she wouldn’t agree totally. Shampoo, for example, could  
be a perfumed body product. Those include shampoo, hair spray and anything  
you wear. If someone has a fragrance smelling such as laundry detergent, if the  
issue is brought to management, they address it.  
Dagg said SHA promotes the scent free policy in its facilities with a blue sign  
that says it is a scent free area and quotes the policy number. The signs are  
everywhere. They are at the entrance of every facility. There are posters in front  
of bathrooms. In the NAW, they are on the glass doors and the wooden doors.  
The posters are in every building.  
Asked to agree that by the time people arrive they have already made their  
choice about scented products, Dagg said she could not speak to that.  
Dagg agreed that the fact of the scent free policy is not included in any voice  
mail greetings of which she is aware in her department. She is not sure what  
others do.  
Dagg acknowledged that she personally did not arrange for any testing of the  
air quality of the locations where Nordick was proposed to work, but she  
believes OHS did some testing. She did not know for sure where.  
Asked is she has encountered members of the public wearing scents, Dagg  
said she mostly enters the NAW through the staff entrance which faces Queen  
Street. She only goes into the lobbies on occasion. She can’t say if she has  
encountered members of the public wearing scented products because she  
doesn’t have sensitives and it would have to be pretty strong for her to notice.  
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To the suggestion that a scent-free policy in a workplace like a hospital or large  
workplace would be difficult to enforce, Dagg said she would agree it would be  
difficult to enforce in public areas, but in safe areas it would not be difficult.  
In re-examination:  
Dagg confirmed that in 2020 she was not working from home because of an  
accommodation where she could only perform certain tasks of her position. She  
had no restrictions and was working full duties. Working from home arose in the  
emergency situation of COVID.  
Dagg confirmed that to this day SHA has not been provided with updated  
medical information to change any of the previous restrictions or to inform SHA  
of any specific scents or chemicals that cause a reaction for Nordick. At no time  
did the Union or Nordick propose an independent medical.  
Brent Latimer Brent Latimer has worked with SHR and SHA since 2006. When he testified he had  
been a supervisor in Health Services since 2010. His background was as a public  
health inspector, inspecting a number of public spaces and buildings in the  
community. With COVID, his group is now responsible for compliance. Latimer is  
involved in everything from mentoring and coaching staff to ensuring staff safety to  
administering vehicles, equipment, and those types of things. Before COVID,  
Latimer worked out of the Idylwyld Centre for the entire length of his employment.  
Latimer has a BSc from the University of Alberta and a degree in Environmental  
Public Health from Concordia University College in Edmonton.  
Latimer served on the Occupational Health and Safety Committee at the Idylwyld  
Centre. He is not sure of the technical name, but he thinks he was called a member  
at large. He was not the chair or co-chair. Because he was at the Idylwyld Centre,  
he was the go-to rep for the Idylwyld office. If there were meeting minutes that  
needed to be posted, Latimer did that. If an employee wanted to talk to an in scope  
union member about any issues, they approached Latimer. He made it known that  
he was available to be approached as part of OHS.  
From about 2010 when he became a supervisor and 2017 or so, Latimer was the  
program supervisor for the water program and Nordick was a water clerk at the  
time. She was the support staff for a large portion of Latimer’s portfolio, so they  
worked closely together in that regard. Nordick was in the department for the whole  
time other than when she shifted out for a few months. The manager at the time  
was Leslie Rea who is now retired.  
When Latimer was on the OHS Committee, he saw himself as wearing two hats in  
relation to employee safety, one as a committee member and one as the  
supervisor. He took this responsibility very seriously. If someone reported  
something to Latimer, he didn’t just ask for help from the OHS Committee. He took  
on a role himself to deal with the situation. This is what occurred with Nordick. He  
personally dealt with Nordick as an employee he supervised but also reported to  
the manager and OHS committee. He felt he had a courteous and professional  
relationship with Nordick.  
12  
When Nordick made incident reports, Latimer looked to see if he could locate the  
scent and either control or eliminate it. That was his primary goal. If he couldn’t  
eliminate, he tried to assess if there was a way to limit or control exposure for  
Nordick. Those were the primary high purpose goals.  
Latimer can’t be one hundred per cent certain if he was tasked with dealing with all  
Nordick’s complaints, but he can say he was tasked with the vast majority of them  
and became aware of them because he was her supervisor. He was involved in  
many of them. It involved other employees because SHA had a scent free policy,  
but it also involved addressing the physical environment. Sometimes scented  
products were left in bathrooms by janitorial staff. Latimer couldn’t communicate  
directly or train them, but he could do reports and launch investigations and could  
find additional scents or he would look for additional scents and if he located them  
he would try to identify a process to remove or eliminate them from the  
environment like with the janitorial staff. He would try to find who is responsible and  
tell people, “Don’t bring deodorant into the bathroom.” He would find the staff using  
scented product and direct them to stop.  
Not only was there signage about the scent free policy, but there was also a list  
developed where it would talk about deodorants, shampoos, laundry detergents,  
and scent free products that were available that they should use to promote a scent  
free environment. Latimer can only speak to his staff. They discussed this on more  
than one occasion and Latimer understood this information was shared in the  
larger building as well.  
Latimer can’t remember if that was when he attended monthly meetings or weekly  
meetings, but he knows there is still a standing OHS reminder about scent free that  
is on every meeting.  
Latimer worked with Leslie Rea to deal with scent issues, especially with the staff  
in cases where he identified perfumes or hand lotions with a scent or a scent on  
clothes. They would follow up. He recalls one specific incident where a person  
intentionally wore perfume. Latimer went to Rea who sent the person home to  
shower and remove the scent before returning to the office.  
Latimer did research on getting an air purifier for Nordick. He did primary research  
about the amount of air that could be purified in Nordick’s work environment. It was  
hard to determine what they should use because Nordick had not provided  
information what specifically might be the root cause of the exposure events.  
Latimer found a unit that dealt with everything. There was a HEPA filter to deal with  
particulates. There was a carbon filter. There was even a UV light for biological  
elements. It looked like this option would cover as many exposure events as  
possible.  
This unit had a photoelectric eye that could look at anything in the air to see if it  
was getting dirty and if that was the case, it would increase and adjust the speed of  
unit to pull in and filter more air. It also gave an indication to Nordick and the  
Employer that there was something impacting the indoor air quality. It could be set  
up and help control exposure wherever it was placed.  
13  
Angela  
Angela Gillespie was Angela Schultz at the material times to this case. I will refer to  
her throughout as Angela Schultz or Schultz to avoid confusion since all  
documents with respect to this matter refer to her as Angela Schultz.  
Gillespie  
(formerly  
Schultz)  
Angela Schultz began working with the SHA in February 2015. She has a BSc in  
Kinesiology from the University of Saskatchewan in 2011. When she testified she  
was enrolled in an MBA program. In her previous work with the SHA, Schultz  
worked with a lot of clients with WCB claims, SGI personal injury claims and private  
insurance claims. In her previous work, she worked with patients to develop  
strength and do conditioning programs to support recovery. She also did function  
testing to figure out what could and could not be done to see if someone was fit to  
work.  
Schultz joined SHA in 2015 as an Accommodation Consultant in EWA. It was the  
other side of the coin from her previous work. In this role, she received medical  
information from physicians, specialists, and whoever the client was working with.  
She then took the information and worked with that person’s department to create  
a safe and sustainable return to work. She also worked with accommodation  
including people with permanent restrictions on their ability who needed permanent  
accommodation where it was a little bit more complex than coming back from a  
broken ankle.  
When Schultz worked with EWA, there was an accommodation committee that met  
regularly. Everyone was encouraged to bring files to review with their peers. In  
addition, the work space was open cubicle style, so there was lots of collaboration,  
and supporting one another was encouraged. The consultants would often consult  
one another to make the best decisions and make sure they were not missing  
anything.  
Date  
June 26,  
2007  
Nordick/  
Letter  
Effective June 29, 2007, the former Saskatoon Health Region  
transferred Nordick to a Temporary Part-Time Staff Scheduler position  
in the Department of Staff Scheduling. This was the first job Nordick  
had in scheduling at St. Paul’s Hospital.  
August 29,  
2007  
Nordick/  
Letter  
Effective August 23, 2007, the former Saskatoon Health Region  
transferred Nordick to another Temporary Part-Time Staff Scheduler  
position in the Department of Staff Scheduling.  
August 13,  
2008  
Nordick/  
Letter  
Effective July 17, 2008, the former Saskatoon Health Region  
transferred Nordick to a Permanent Part-time Office Administrative  
Assistant position in the Department of Safe Communities at Public  
Health Services.  
Because they liked me and liked my work, Leslie Rea asked me to work more  
and I was granted another ten hours in the same position, but I have two job  
descriptions because that is how she could arrange that I could have more  
hours.  
Initially the position was half time and then Rea added ten hours in  
June 24, 2009.  
14  
June 24,  
2009  
Letter  
Effective June 3, 2009, the former Saskatoon Health Region  
transferred Nordick a Permanent Part-time Office Administrative  
Assistant position in the Department of Safe Communities at Public  
Health Services.  
2004-2010  
Nordick  
Nordick first started to notice issues but didn’t know what was going on  
as early as 2004. Dr. Tymchak diagnosed MCS in 2008.  
While Nordick worked at Porteous Lodge, she didn’t seem to be  
bothered. She was at the new or beginning stage of MCS so her  
tolerance levels were better. The scent issues arose when she was at  
Safe Communities on Idylwyld.  
In 2004, when things started, it was not liking somebody’s perfume or  
just a general not feeling well and getting a headache. The symptoms  
were not as severe as they are now. There is a document that says  
there are four stages. Nordick had headaches from scents if she was  
exposed for a long time. So many people now say they can’t stand  
perfume. That’s where Nordick was in 2004. The disease itself  
progresses because if you can’t avoid the toxins in these products or  
toxins in general, it progresses to certain stages.  
In 2010, Nordick started to complain to the incident line because it had  
progressed to the point where it was making her sick at work. She had  
brain fog, joint pain, bruising and tinnitus. The ringing ears was one of  
the first symptoms she experienced. Then it was this scent issue at  
payroll at City Hospital where the staff became such a problem  
because they all wore perfume. Nordick couldn’t function. She couldn’t  
think. She was shaking, with heart palpitations. This was from February  
17, 2004, to May 20, 2007.  
Nordick voiced her concerns to everyone, but she does not believe she  
took it into the manager’s office at that time. She was trying to ask  
people to quit wearing their scents because it bothered her. She didn’t  
want to make ripples in the workplace. She wanted to talk about it. She  
would say, “Your perfume bothers me. Could you not wear it?” The  
scent free policy and personal appearance policy both say you cannot  
wear fragranced products. Nordick tried to handle it on her own. The  
result was conflict, and Nordick bid into a different job. Some of the  
women she asked to stop wearing perfume just would not stop wearing  
their perfume. That didn’t help because Nordick needed everybody to  
cooperate.  
From May 20, 2007, went to February 25, 2009, Nordick had two  
positions at St. Paul’s Hospital, first casual and then a full-time  
scheduler. She chose that job because the staff there consisted of  
anywhere from two to three, up to six people on the payroll. It was a  
very small staff, and Nordick thought that would help. If she could  
convince five or six people, then she could maintain working.  
15  
To some extent that worked, “except they tested the water”. Two co-  
workers thought it would be fun to wear body spray from head to toe  
and see what happened. Nordick reacted badly.  
They were busy opening windows and asking me to leave. I said I am going  
to stay here now and if I pass out, you have permission to contact the  
emergency ward.  
Nordick reacted badly. She could taste the scent on her tongue. She  
had a hard time breathing and had other symptoms.  
When Nordick was exposed to the scent, it affected her for the rest of  
the shift. The toxins built up in her system and the symptoms continued  
throughout the night. The symptoms get worse as the body tries to  
adjust. All of Nordick’s systems get affected. At night she is left with  
shakiness, joint pain, feeling cold like a toxic poisoning through her  
system. She could be freezing cold or sweaty and hot. That is her  
system trying to rid itself of these toxins. Nordick gets very thirsty and  
needs to drink a lot of water that flushes out those toxins. If she drinks  
a lot of water in the day, then she suffers from the aches and sinus  
aches and throat and the ear problems that are now reacting. It is like  
having a cold where your ears are blocked, and your throat is raspy  
and sore. She loses her voice because her throat is constricting. Her  
voice goes really low. She has heart palpitations.  
With all her symptoms, it was sort of a learning curve for Nordick and  
Dr. Tymchak in getting to the diagnosis in 2008. Tymchak referred  
Nordick to Dr. Persaud, Dr. Koehncke, Dr. Hall and Dr. Peters. The  
MCS diagnosis was first made by Nordick and Tymchak. Then Dr.  
Koehncke diagnosed Nordick with idiopathic environmental intolerance.  
This is the name they gave MCS.  
MCS has been recognized in Canada for well over thirty years. The  
doctors’ recommendation was avoidance. It was to avoid all toxins.  
They could not recommend to avoid any specific toxins because they  
could not possibly know what was affecting Nordick. They said if she  
knew she was going to a specific place and would encounter  
something that would make her sick, she should avoid that. Perfumes,  
colognes and body sprays were in the top ten list of what to avoid.  
With Dr. Tymchak, it was trial and error. It progressed over years. The  
first exposure to something could be mild and then the second time the  
body reacts, and it makes her more sick and then the third time is  
worse yet.  
In cross-examination:  
Counsel asked Nordick about an October 11, 2000, note from Dr.  
Fenton that refers to an August 12, 2000 visit with Dr. Tymchak  
where Nordick had an allergic reaction to alcohol.  
16  
Nordick said:  
I have had an allergy to vodka and certain types of beers for quite some time  
now – and I have noticed that I cannot drink vodka and can’t drink certain  
beers. That was 2000. That was 20 years ago. That was part of the process  
of finding what was allergies and what are MCS. The chemicals that some  
beers are made with, that’s been known about beer and vodka for many  
years. I hardly drink anything to this day because of that.  
I think at this time we just weren’t aware of the MCS, because those are the  
same reactions I have with MCS with the swelling and stuff. It is difficult to  
say in 2000 what was going on in my system because I did not have the  
knowledge to distinguish between MCS and allergies.  
Nordick said the alcohol reactions happened more than once:  
I just know which symptoms were related to the beer and vodka, but hives  
were also noted on MCS at work – hives all over my arms when I wasn’t  
drinking. My face becomes puffy when I am exposed to toxins from perfumes  
etcetera. My lips constantly swell from toxins. The cramps may be because  
there are chemicals in those things. Back in 2000 we were trying to figure out  
what was going on in my system. This was an attempt to figure out what was  
going on here.  
To the suggestion that in August of 2000, Dr. Fenton raised  
concerns about Nordick’s reactions, Nordick said:  
They had some concern about the nature of those reactions and Dr.  
Tymchak was asking Dr. Fenton for advice and then Dr. Fenton writes to Dr.  
Tymchak. …I don’t remember this at all, but reading this, that certainly  
demonstrates that everything it says there is symptoms of MCS that would  
already be there in 2000. I was already having reactions. I just didn’t know  
MCS as a viable disease that it even existed.  
To the suggestion that Dr. Fenton felt these were allergic reactions,  
Nordick said:  
Subsequent testing after that showed I didn’t have allergies for these items.  
There isn’t testing for many of these items. I had been to many allergy  
doctors. No one at that time even knew, including myself, about MCS. It is so  
hard to put a diagnosis of MCS when there was no knowledge of it. These  
are all symptoms eyelids are puffy I have nausea around toxins nasal  
drip lips swelling itchiness facial rash. I can still tolerate Coors Lite but I  
don’t drink much. Popping of ears, itchy nose. It’s all part of the MCS. I now  
know it is. This shows I was already having symptoms of MCS in 2000.  
Nordick said she is not aware of any tests that can be done:  
…but again, the SHA has seen me at the union meeting where Angela came  
in and I started to react when she came into the room. Leslie Rea  
documented to WCB how she witnessed wheeziness. These are all known to  
be reactions to laundry detergents, colognes, perfumes, scented things they  
have in their homes. Gain laundry detergent – essential oils. …This is  
fascinating to me. This is the initial stages to find out what was making me  
sick, and now I know.  
17  
Asked if she was having the same reactions in 2000 as today,  
Nordick said:  
Well, the foods and alcohol. Foods are contaminated with glyphosate and  
that has gotten into our food chain. I react to contaminated foods. Studies  
that show the wheat that we are growing becomes desiccated. It is proven  
through tests that the wheat still contains the glyphosate and that is why I  
grow, can and process my own food.  
It takes a lot of time and effort. Our water is contaminated. When Roundup or  
fertilizers or pesticides are applied within two to three miles of me, I have to  
close my home because it gets into my airways. I watch the quality of air. I  
wasn’t feeling well on Tuesday. The air quality had dropped.  
Our environment has made me sick. Indoors is five times worse inside than  
outside. That is the reason for the open window. These are all symptoms of  
MCS. I have been known to check the air quality index chemicals from  
forest fires when COVID took place, air quality was as bad as it could get –  
people contracting COVID that air quality is bad – people with COVID aren’t  
recovering. People are having long term illness once they have had COVID.  
This is a yah I could go on for a very long time. They want people to take  
anti-inflammatory and vitamin C so they don’t get COVID. I am doing all I can  
to be healthy to make sure MCS keeps in check.  
Nordick agreed that in October of 2000 she told Dr. Fenton she was  
deadly allergic to carrots and carried an EpiPen for that. She does  
not know what the active ingredient is that causes that.  
Nordick agreed that when she appealed the 2012 WCB decision,  
WCB denied the appeal because they decided there was no  
medical investigation that supported exposure at work, but said the  
claim also has many flaws to it in 2012.  
He [the doctor] didn’t say it didn’t support it. He said he does not have tests  
available for it. Again, they refer to it – this is WCB’s way of twisting. There  
are no tests that could tests for chemicals in scents. I was bounced between  
many allergy specialists all saying the same thing. They cannot test for  
scents. This decision was based on their saying that I can’t produce any  
documents to support asthma. I don’t have asthma. I have MCS. The  
decision is frustrating because they make their decision on their version of  
the facts.  
Nordick repeated that she did not know she could appeal the WCB  
decision.  
In this report Dr. Koehncke says I am idiopathic environmental intolerance.  
That is another name for MCS. That is what they were calling it at that time.  
MCS has very many different tests relating to the conditions. He says  
exposure to chemical agents such as perfumed products.  
2009  
Nordick  
By 2009, Nordick’s symptoms were sufficiently serious that when she  
had an exposure, she was affected at work and throughout the night.  
When Nordick’s co-workers witnessed her symptoms, they took it more  
seriously. She could work more hours because they became aware  
they could not wear body spray. The hospital setting was not a problem  
at the time. It was a small office where at the most they could fit three  
18  
people. They had to go through another lady’s office to get to the area.  
People apologized and were cooperative after they saw what  
happened and that became a better working situation for Nordick.  
Nordick eventually left that job because even with co-worker  
cooperation, she was still experiencing a decline in health. She then  
bid for a part-time position so she could have more time to rest and get  
better. That was at Safe Communities the .5 and the extra ten hours.  
At Safe Communities, there were four secretaries in fishbowl on main  
floor, but the second floor was a cut-away so windows could look down  
at the desks. There was nice air movement and scents would go up.  
In addition to the fishbowl, on that first level there was a dental  
manager and dental clerks, a supervisor’s office, an area for ten public  
health inspectors, the CDC departments, spaces for Leslie Rea and  
other supervisors, a photocopy room and reception. There were other  
departments in the building. Sexual Health had its own entrance.  
Homecare was upstairs. There were a lot of staff as well as medical  
health offices and a librarian and various other departments all within  
this building.  
The secretaries shared some of the duties. The office Nordick worked  
for involved public health authorities inspecting restaurants, public  
waters, swimming pools, skating rinks. Right where Nordick worked  
there were four women. The office were around them and had doors.  
When someone walked in the public doors, they were face to face with  
the receptionist.  
May 2010  
forward  
Nordick  
Nordick started to report exposures to the incident line as early as May  
2010. She reported experiences of getting sick over scents in the  
workplace. Rea was aware of it at the time because she had to sign off  
and see those incident reports. Nordick and Rea also had discussions  
about it.  
The incident line is used to report anytime something happens that is  
out of the ordinary such as a nurse getting pricked by a needle.  
Nordick’s incidents had to do with health issues. She reported for that  
reason to make a record of the incident.  
Nordick has a spreadsheet on which she was keeping track of how  
many times she was exposed to perfume. She produced a portion of  
that sheet. She asked the report line for reports, but they didn’t have  
the reports going back that far. The spreadsheet shows 18 dates from  
October 1, 2010, to April 25, 2012 on which Nordick had issues with  
perfumes and lotions.  
Nordick has an Investigation Report of an incident she reported on  
March 23, 2011. The notes on the report say that Nordick reported a  
severe allergic reaction to scent and missed her shift on March 22,  
2011. The record suggests that when the person who spoke to Nordick  
19  
about her report started explaining what Nordick was to do with the  
reporting package when she sought medical attention, Nordick would  
not give out any more information and hung up. The record reflects that  
the person was unable to complete the report because Nordick was not  
cooperative. Nordick says she does not know what that means. Leslie  
Rea was Nordick’s manager at the time and Diane Nolan was the OHS  
Safety Consultant.  
What Nordick remembers about this incident is just that there was a  
scent at her workplace. It would have just been another co-worker’s  
scent. Nordick started to report because nothing had been done to stop  
people from coming to work with scents. She had the reaction to scent  
on March 22, 2011, and had to go home. She reported the incident  
because she had a physical reaction.  
An incident on January 26, 2012, generated a whole WCB claim. There  
were several issues at work which Nordick reported on January 26.  
The incident was January 24. There was perfume in the washroom at 8  
a.m.. It was perfume from a client who came to see the manager of the  
dental program who was also the OHS chair at the time and who had  
also intentionally used scented products in her office all the time. There  
was also perfume from Brenda H who covered reception from 12 to  
12:30. Nordick believes it was probably Brenda H’s perfume that set  
her off.  
Nordick was sick all night after this exposure. The report says that  
Nordick said this on January 26:  
I spent all of Tuesday night ill with headache, stomach cramps, diarrhea,  
facial itchiness, facial redness and swelling of the lips. I went back to work  
and reported it to OH&S OHC head Leslie Topola? Signs were to issued and  
made a per her email sent to me. I have not seen any signs as I returned to  
work on Jan 26.12. Where again I am entering, ? has been wearing his  
cologne today. Which has made my face do the same symptoms again. I  
have missed the entire day again Jan 26.12. I am seeking medical attention.  
[typos in original]  
And this on January 27:  
…The symptoms that I got were my face started to turn red and was burning  
and itchy. My eyes started to block off. The next morning my face was still  
swollen and there was a hive under my left eye. I also had some bowel  
dysfunction going on. I also had a headache. …  
Nordick remembers that when she returned to work and didn’t find any  
signage, she went hunting down signage and posted it herself. When  
she got back to work, then there was the scent of cologne, and she had  
the same symptoms again and had to miss January 26. January 25  
had been a day off.  
20  
Nordick does not remember if she sought medical attention with  
respect to this incident. It would be in Tymchak’s file if she did. She  
would have to look it up.  
The process was always to tell the manager or supervisor about the  
incidents. Leslie Rea was the manager at that time and her supervisor  
changed between two people Trina Abadellachief and Brent Latimer.  
Mostly the supervisor was Latimer. Most of the times when she  
experienced a scent issue, Nordick advised her manager and her  
supervisor. Issues arose because a lot of times they were out of the  
office. If Nordick was reacting and going home, she would contact one  
of them. If they were not there or it was so severe, Nordick would tell  
her co-workers that she needed to leave the building and go home.  
She always told somebody to relate the information back to the  
manager and supervisor.  
Nordick was off work for two weeks during this time. Tymchak gave her  
a medical note to be off for two weeks.  
Leslie Topola reported the situation to WCB and Nordick was asked to  
report a claim to WCB. The claim for the two days had to go through  
WCB because there was missed time from work. Nordick didn’t realize  
it but the SHA wanted her to claim WCB benefits. Nordick was told to  
claim WCB every time. WCB told her to stop reporting unless she  
missed work. Nordick did not identify who told her to report to WCB  
every time. She just recalls that it was “just standard” to always put in a  
WCB claim. She knows Leslie Rea had written in the response to WCB  
that she had witnessed Nordick’s symptoms and her shortness of  
breath.  
The full reports Nordick obtained well after the fact show that Leslie  
Topola and Leslie Rea were going to do something about this.  
problem. There is an After Incident Review report dated January 30,  
2012. The document shows those in attendance to include Nordick,  
Diane Nolan and Leslie Rea as well as Lisa Clark who was a Return-  
to-Work Consultant. Nordick says she was not at this meeting. She  
believes there may be a page missing because this page is not signed  
off.  
The After Incident Review reflects the incidents of scent exposure on  
January 24 and 26, 2012. The steps to prevent future occurrences  
included the manager speaking to the person who wore the perfume,  
the fact Topola has made up signs about the faculty being scent-free,  
and the manager including scent-free information at staff meetings,  
OHS meetings and at orientation. The manager was to consult with  
Home Care because scent in that area had been an ongoing concern  
for them as well. It says that all staff need to be aware of the potential  
health problems that can result for their co-workers and clients when  
scent is in the workplace.  
21  
Nordick actually put up the posters and Topola signed off on that being  
done.  
Nordick knows she applied in January of 2012 for WCB, was denied  
and appealed it. They denied her because she could not prove she had  
asthma. She has never had asthma and did not understand why they  
did what they did.  
Nordick was able to obtain an Investigation Report dated April 25,  
2012. This document reflects that the co-worker, Brenda H, from  
another department was wearing a scent againand that this caused  
Nordick to have another reaction. The document says:  
She was up front at the reception desk visiting and the aroma was too strong  
for me. I started getting symptoms from the scent so at 09:30 hrs I left the  
building for my break and went for a walk. She was still there when I came  
back from my break. I had a runny nose, my face and eyes were burning, and  
my tongue felt coated. I had difficulty breathing and had confusion and my  
legs became weak. My heart was starting to race. At 1000 hrs I left for the  
remainder of my shift. The next morning I had swelling around my eyes and  
had pockets underneath my eyes. When I came to work the next day, my  
symptoms on my face were still visible. By noon my symptoms had  
disappeared. I have a scent sensitivity. My manager is aware of this. There  
are signs regarding a scent free environment and talks have been given to  
staff on not wearing scent.  
Even though the managers talked to the staff, Brenda H continued to  
wear scents. “I was told at one time to go talk to her. That did not go  
well. I don’t know if they talked to her or not. I have no idea what  
happened between management and her. I never got follow-up.”  
On the occasion of that exposure on April 25, 2012, Nordick started to  
experience symptoms from the scent. Her nose will turn red, her face  
feels like it is burning, and she gets sinus congestion, nasal drip and  
her tongue can taste the toxin in it and gets coated white. Fluid builds  
under her eyes and her ears start to block off. Her breathing is  
laboured. She cannot breathe. She cannot think. Inflammation in the  
brain causes swelling, and it is impossible to function. She can’t keep a  
thought in her head.  
Nordick has not found any medications that work. She took Benadryl  
for a time, but Dr. Persaud told her not to take it. It just made her tired  
and she would go home and sleep. It didn’t help the symptoms. She  
could not breathe while she was sleeping.  
Nordick obtained another Investigation Report from a report she made  
on October 25, 2012. It says:  
approximately 09:00 am there was some perfume in photocopy room. I took  
some medication and reported to my supervisor, the scent lingered around  
the two people in the coffee room did not have perfume on. I noticed a taste  
on my tongue, my face and eyes were itchy and red as well as a general  
feeling of weakness and pressure in the ears. We turned up fans and I  
developed a headache around 14:00 I had a sore stomach and flatulence at  
22  
15:00 the scent was noticed in the adjoining corners of CDC and Safe  
Communities and in the CDC manager’s office coworkers confirmed scent.  
That night I woke at 1:41 feeling nauseous and 3 am had sore neck and ears  
as well as dry mouth and burning eyes. The next morning I had diarrhea and  
that cleansed my system. I reported it to my supervisor. My coworkers  
noticed the smell but it did not come from them. I believe it came from CDC.  
The medication Nordick took on this occasion was Benadryl. The staff  
turned up the fans in the fishbowl area. This episode was quote so  
much worse because, not only did Nordick have a headache, she  
suffered IBS with bowel distress which is another symptom of MCS.  
She always reported everything to her supervisor.  
On October 25, 2012, Nordick sent an email to OHS Consultant Diane  
Nolan:  
After yesterday’s scent incident, I am willing to try anything. I was up at 1:41  
until 5:00 am in pain due to the scents in the workplace. I am writing to you  
for advice. Do you know where I can get a chemical face mask and a  
portable oxygen tank.  
Nolan responded on October 26, 2012:  
I have not seen the latest incident report, so I an not sure of the source of the  
scent. If the source is known, the goal would be to prevent exposure rather  
than treat the results of an exposure.  
A half-mask respirator with multi-chemical filtering cartridges would not really  
be practical or comfortable for general/routine wear. There are companies  
that provide oxygen but I am not sure of the effectiveness of oxygen as a  
treatment for post-scent exposure. Prevention of exposure should be the  
priority.  
There is a plan to send out a region wide bulletin on the wearing of scent in  
November as this is a concern for other workers and clients. Increase  
awareness should reduce the risk of exposure.  
If I can provide more information or assistance, please contact me.  
There was a general meeting in November 2012. Garth Sheard was to  
present information to hundreds at a meeting that usually occurs once  
a year, but interesting enough, the topic got bumped and never was  
presented for lack of time. It was on the agenda, but it got bumped.  
Nordick was not consulted with respect to information to be presented.  
Latimer  
Latimer recalls that at one point Nordick proposed wearing a filter  
mask, like and N95 or something similar.  
In cross-examination:  
Latimer said he thinks he recalls getting Diane Nolan’s October 6,  
2012 email. Nolan was an OHS consultant of some sort. She wasn’t  
directly in Latimer’s department structure. She held a different role  
from Latimer’s OHS role.  
Latimer became a member of the OHS committee because all  
employers have to have OHS committees if they are of a certain  
23  
size. The committee needs reps from in scope and out of scope  
employees. Latimer was one of the in-scope representatives on the  
committee. People have to take training to be on the committee and  
they have to renew their credentials every so often.  
February 6,  
2013  
Tymchak In cross-examination, counsel referred Tymchak to a letter of February  
6, 2013 from Dr. Koehncke in which Dr. Koehncke said Nordick was  
frustrated that there may be a psychological component to her  
symptoms and that he thought there might be some significant  
underlying psychological issues that he thought might be connected to  
past trauma. Koehncke was unable to verify any allergies and felt  
Nordick would benefit from a psychiatric consultation. [This information  
was never provided to SHA.]  
Tymchak insisted that Koehncke did not say that he thought  
psychological problems might be the cause of the symptoms. Tymchak  
thought Nordick did see someone named Michelle something and that  
there were no psychological issues related to scent. This person was  
someone Nordick had gone to see who worked specifically with people  
with scent sensitivities. Tymchak did not receive anything from this  
person, so he can’t verify what happened.  
August 8,  
2013  
Nordick  
Nordick sent an email to Patricia Tymiak who was a Public Health  
Inspector (PHI) and copied it to Supervisor Brent Latimer:  
Hi Patricia. I noticed that you were wearing a lot of scent today. I did not call it  
in today as a courtesy to you; however, it is bothering me. I do not want to  
cause any hardships between us but on the other hand I do not enjoy feeling  
ill all day.  
This woman was one of the women Leslie Rea sent home to shower  
because of her use of scents. Nordick is not sure whether this email  
was before or after Tymiak was sent home. Tymiak was a repeat  
offender and her scent was so strong the guys complained about the  
scent in the car the Public Health Inspectors (“PHIs”) used.  
August 23,  
2013  
In cross-examination:  
Asked about a medical record from August 23, 2013, where the  
doctor prescribed clonazepam for expected night terrors, Nordick  
said she still had problems at work with scents and questioned why  
they were talking about night terrors. She said that even if there  
was a prescription at the time, she did not take any of the drugs  
because she doesn’t believe in drugs.  
Well, what would have happened, he would have prescribed it. Whether I  
filled it out or not – I react differently to most medications. I don’t remember  
taking any drugs for the night terrors. I doubt I took it at that point. Any doctor  
handing me drugs for a problem is not my way of handling things.  
August 23,  
2013  
Nordick reported a scent exposure that occurred on August 20, 2013.  
In response to that, Leslie Rea sent Nordick an email on August 23:  
24  
I'm sorry to hear that you were exposed to a scent on the morning of August  
22nd resulting in you going home. We are investigating the possibility that  
someone deliberately sprayed a scent in the air in the PHI area. A very  
strong scent was noticed by a Supervisor who reported it strong enough to  
cling to the clothing of anyone walking through the area and that anyone  
wearing a scent that strong would have been noticeable. All SC staff were in  
a meeting first thing in the morning and no scents were detected on any  
individual.  
We will continue our investigation and I'll let you know what we find.  
Nordick responded on August 28, 2013:  
Thank you for your concern.  
Thought I should express the following facts for your investigation.  
I was exposed to the scent of the morning of August 20, 2013, at approx.  
8:15 am, not Aug 22, 2013. Patricia Tymiak was in the aisle by her desk.  
Dwayne Djkowich was sitting at his desk and Andreas was at his desk. Brent  
and I were out the door to the atrium after locating a file in the cabinets  
located in the same area. At that point I made a comment to Brent about the  
perfume /odor.  
Nordick reacted every time she was exposed like this. She went home.  
It was serious enough that she had to leave. The email refers to her as  
Sharon McCutcheon. Nordick is her maiden name which she changed  
back to at one point.  
April 9, 2014 Nordick  
Nordick obtained a document that shows that she reported an incident  
on April 9, 2014. The Incident Report Form says this:  
There was a chemical scent or perfume at the corner of CDC and I started to  
react. I turned up my fans and I took Benadryl. I had trouble breathing and  
my face was burning and my eyes were itchy and my tongue was coated. No  
headache. My throat gets sore and feels like it is closing. I left work for the  
remainder of the day. This morning when I came back to work the smell was  
still here but it has since dissipated. I don't have any symptoms at the  
moment. I notified my immediate supervisor about this and he is looking into  
it.  
At one point the form SHA used to record the reports of incident  
changed. Nordick can’t say exactly when, but they stopped putting the  
names of staff into Nordick’s reports. They took her name and the  
union rep’s name but refused to take staff members’ names. This  
incident involved the CDC which is the department where Brenda H  
worked.  
The Manager Report which is part of the Incident Report Form, was  
completed on May 7, 2014. In this part of the document, they say that  
the employee has severe scent allergy. The scent could not be  
detected by others. Nordick’s supervisor, Latimer, who is also the OHS  
Co-chair along with the other OHS co-chair toured the office and could  
not detect the scent. Signage is in place. With respect to short term  
remedial action, the document says that the Co-chairs immediately  
25  
investigated the source of the scent but couldn't detect the scent or the  
source. Next to Long Term Remedial Action it says:  
An air purifier for Sharon’s workspace has been ordered. It is expected to  
arrive by the end of May.  
Sharon's supervisor dealt with the situation very thoroughly. This included an  
immediate investigation by the OH&S co-chairs (he is one of them) and  
arranging for the purchase of an air purifier. He met with Sharon to explain  
the action that would be taken. This is a difficult situation to manage because  
no one else can detect the scent(s) that cause this employee to react. As a  
result, we have not been able to find and eliminate the source(s).  
Nordick’s symptoms are not created by the scent. She reacts to the  
toxins that have created the scent. There is a difference between  
fragrance free and scent free. Scent free is masked. Until you read the  
label, you won’t know if it is scent free. Fragrance free means nothing  
added. Just because they can’t smell it doesn’t mean Nordick won’t  
react. She reacts because a minute amount of the toxin is going to set  
her off. A fragrance can have anywhere from 300 to 3,000 toxic  
chemicals that create that fragrance.  
Nordick was not aware of the Manager Report at the time and she was  
never consulted about it.  
When she was at work, she knew they toured the office and could not  
detect a scent. They would go around and say there is nothing there.  
That made Nordick feel like they were not believing her. This was  
Manager Leslie Rea.  
Brent Latimer was the person doing the investigating. He discussed the  
ordering of the air purifier with Nordick. That was good. It eventually did  
come. It had charcoal and HEPA filters that help to eliminate toxins,  
dust and bacteria. When the filer “finally came”, Nordick set it right  
beside her at her work station. Someone would walk by, like the girl  
from dental who wore things Nordick reacted to, and the purifier would  
kick into higher gear to remove those toxins. It goes from green to  
yellow and needs to clean the toxins away. It would change the colour  
of the light and you could hear the fan cut in and it would go up to the  
next level to get rid of these toxins. It would not say what toxins they  
were.  
When Nordick reported things like the girl from dental wearing a  
fragrance that was bothering her, Latimer would come and say it must  
be hand sanitizer from someone at Nordick’s desk. Nordick had proof  
with the air purifier and “I was still told that can’t be it.”  
It was helpful to Nordick that the filter recognized when there were  
toxins and confirmed to her that she was not crazy. The machine  
recognized and tried to eliminate toxins, but the area was too large for  
the machine to purify. It had two filters, one for dust and pollen and one  
for toxins.  
26  
April 22, 2014 Tymchak In cross-examination, Tymchak confirmed that his records show that he  
had a letter from Koehncke saying that Nordick had seen Dennis  
Coates and that she had given Koehncke permission to speak to  
Coates. Tymchak was not aware of whether Koehncke ever spoke to  
Coates.  
Nordick  
Nordick never went to any counselor about what MCS is. In April 2014,  
Dr. Koehncke suggested that MCS might have psychological  
components to it. Nordick got quite upset with him because she  
expected more from an educated man. Dr. Koehncke wanted Nordick  
to see a psychiatrist. Nordick went to see Dr. Dennis Coates and spent  
about a half an hour in his office. He had a talk with her, and that talk  
consisted of how she copes and her coping mechanisms. Coates’ last  
words to her were, “You are so sane, you could be working here.”  
Nordick gave Koehncke permission to speak to Coates because in her  
mind that would have satisfied Koehncke’s “thought process that this  
was in my head verses dealing with the idiopathic environmental  
intolerance I had.” This was an ongoing process. Nordick feels some of  
the earlier literature from 1998 is so far out of date it is not relevant.  
In cross-examination:  
Counsel put an April 22, 2014, letter from Dr. Koehncke to Dr.  
Tymchak before Nordick in which Dr. Koehncke said Nordick had  
told him the Employer just needed to get better at enforcing the  
scent free policy. Nordick said she does not remember every saying  
that to Dr. Koehncke. Asked if she disputes that she said that,  
Nordick said:  
That’s his words. Again, I did work with the public with plumbing and sewage  
permits. As opposed to it improving, it never did improve. They were trying  
the HEPA. I may have said that to him and I know I had been talking and  
educating people. If he said that, fine, but that is not how I remember it being.  
I am saying more could be done…. That is what was going on. There was no  
air purifier, and they certainly could have improved. Like I said, I am not  
totally discounting this. It might not be exactly how I remember things as  
opposed to what he took from that.  
May 21, 2014 Nordick  
Incident  
There is an Incident Report Form reflecting that Nordick spoke to  
someone in OHS:  
Report  
Spoke to EE - adequate signage was put up about a year ago. Some people  
do not appear to be aware of the effect of scent on others. An air purifier has  
been purchased and this helps to detect where the scent is coming from and  
when. Identified that one of the hand sanitizers was detected as causing  
issues. More staff are aware of the issues and adhere to the no scent policy.  
July to  
November  
Nordick  
From July to November 2014, Nordick worked in the fishbowl in the  
Idylwyld Centre in her home department of Safe Communities.  
They were responsible for collection of water samples for pools and  
public wells. Nordick kept the records on the monitoring in terms of who  
27  
complied and who did not. Sewage and plumbing permits went through  
the office. That was the only portion of Nordick’s job where she dealt  
with public. People would come for a permit. Nordick did  
documentation including “wall walk spreadsheets”. This was all work on  
computer. If a well was found or water source contaminated and  
needed a precautionary drinking water advisory or emergency boiled  
water order, Nordick prepared those alongside the supervisor and the  
PHI who handled the case. She was involved in getting the signature  
from the medical health officer upstairs and doing the paperwork and  
who should be contacted for what problem. Nordick’s job was always to  
do the paperwork.  
July 24, 2014 Nordick  
Nordick provided a medical to say she would be off for two weeks:  
To confirm that the above patient will be off work for 2 weeks for medical  
reasons.  
In cross-examination:  
Counsel pointed to a note in Dr. Tymchak’s records in July 2014  
that says Nordick suffered from vertigo for the past several years.  
Asked when the vertigo started, Nordick said:  
I don’t remember. This was to try to find out about the dizzy spells. It was  
diagnosed at ER for Miniere’s. …These episodes were a few seconds. The  
first one was in the middle of the night. I didn’t know what was happening.  
This was not a problem that was ongoing. There were a few episodes. I was  
trying to find out why. We figured out it was Miniere’s disease.  
Nordick agreed that she fell off a horse on July 24, 2014 and broke  
her finger.  
July 28, 2014  
SHA’s Service Team Request form for July 28 says:  
Sharon Nordick, OAA in the Safe Communities Department, provided a  
doctor's note today stating she will be off for the next 2 weeks (will send fax).  
Sharon was scheduled to provide OAA coverage for the entire department for  
the next 2 weeks. Her Supervisor spoke with her this morning and she told  
him that the reason she will be off is because she broke her finger. Is there  
any way that a RTW coordinator can speak to her doctor about a possible  
accommodation?  
Sharon has done this in the past (i.e.: provided a doctor's note to be away  
when she was supposed to be providing coverage for the others).  
August 1,  
2014  
SHA Employee Wellness and Accommodation (“EWA”) faxed a letter to  
Dr. Tymchak:  
We have been informed that our employee is to be off work for medical  
reasons. With the employee 's permission we are sending this medical form  
to Dr Tymchak to further assess the extent of the employees injury to her  
finger and her ability to work light duties in return to work program. Please  
indicate the duration along with your recommendation, as well as the next  
reassessment appointment dote.  
28  
August 8,  
2014  
Dr. Tymchak sent a Medical Report of Injury to say Nordick was unable  
to use her left hand and that she could return to work for four hours a  
day as of August 18, 2014.  
August 8,  
2014  
Kovach  
The EWA group uses a system called Parklane to track activity with  
respect to the cases that come to them. The system produces notes. It  
is used to record conversations as a way to record historically what has  
happened on a file. It is to be completed by the accommodation  
consultant or associate or someone that is taking action on a file. It is a  
way to document what has occurred on a file in a timely manner in an  
ongoing, like a real time documentation of what occurs on a file.  
A file is opened typically when the employee provides medical. There  
are also incidents where managers contact wellness with concerns, but  
the vast majority of cases happen when the employee provides  
medical.  
Kovach was aware what occurred with the first entry for Nordick which  
was on August 8, 2014. He had seen medical that had to do with an  
injury to Nordick’s finger. The medical was dated July 24, 2014, and  
said Nordick would be of for two weeks because of the injury to her  
finger.  
To Kovach’s knowledge, SHA had not received any documentation at  
this time related to any medical condition about scent exposure.  
In cross-examination:  
To the suggestion that the Parklane documents are the Employer’s  
“unilateral documents”, Latimer said that the notes that people  
make on the system are their notes, but the notes contain all the  
attachments, like email messages and letters that go with the notes.  
Kovach agreed that the Consultant’s notes are prepared for the  
Employer’s purposes and are not send to the Union or the  
employee for their agreement.  
Kovach confirmed that the notation “pc” in the Parklane notes  
stands for “phone call”.  
Kovach was the person who was going to be reviewing the matter  
with the manager as of August 8, 2014.  
August 18,  
2014  
Kovach  
Nordick returned to work. Kovach spoke to Nordick that day. She said  
she was able to work fulltime hours. Kovach said he would follow up to  
make sure she was successful. The manager, Leslie Rea had reached  
out to the EWA office. They discussed a possible duty to accommodate  
(DTA) process because Nordick said issues with scent exposure  
caused her to use sick time. Kovach agreed to review the matter with  
the manager.  
29  
In cross-examination:  
Kovach was asked to agree that as early as August 18, 2014, he  
was aware Nordick was having scent issues interfering with work  
performance. He said:  
I guess its one of those scenarios where I agree to disagree. Employees will  
sometime claim something but there needs to be medical documents to  
follow up. And in this case there wasn’t. She said there were possible issues  
and I said would speak to the manager and see what might be done.  
Kovach agreed that when he followed up with Leslie Rea, Rea  
confirmed that she and Latimer had accepted that Nordick had  
problems with scents and that they had been attempting to make  
adjustments to accommodate that.  
August 19,  
2014  
Kovach  
Kovach discussed the situation with her. His Parklane notes from that  
discussion say:  
pc from Leslie (mngr), Brett (Super) to reveiw attendance/performace  
concerns. Brett advised is on OHS committe with site and advised have done  
all building can do to reduce scents in buildling. He advised has purchased  
air purifier however does not feel has helped ee performance. Adivsed OHS  
committe has exhausted all reasoable efforts to reduce scents in building,  
advised ee also meets with public and some issues can be related to air  
systemn in building. Adivsed ee may be able to wear PPE, which can be  
exploreed. Agreed to have attendance support updated and look to provde  
LOE with LR as may be leading to culpable behavior, Advised was  
concerned ee would call in sick as to provide coverage this thurs, writer  
reviewed CBA 24.03 outlining ee to provide R/L and look to address if not  
provided. Agreed to meet with group to problem solve moving fwd. Writer to  
f/u with LR re LOE and AA re attendance and plan to meet [typos in original]  
From the discussion, Kovach noted that Rea and Latimer had already  
taken significant steps to work through what could be done for Nordick.  
They discussed whether personal protective equipment (PPE) should  
be explored. The agreed to meet as a group to explore options. It is the  
role of EWA to handle this type of scenario.  
August 21,  
2014  
Nordick  
Nordick obtained an Incident Report Form that reflects that she made a  
report on August 21, 2014, about an incident on August 18, 2014:  
There’s perfume in the workplace again. I am allergic to perfume. I was able  
to finish my shift. It affects my throat, my ears, my heart, my bones, my face  
turns red, and confusion sets in. My tongue is coated, my ears plugged, my  
stomach becomes gaseous and my throat is sore. She is from a different  
department, but we share a photocopier and I have to pass through her area.  
We also have a shared hallway. I've taken Benadryl and turned on a fan and  
air purifier. I notified my superior today as he was not in on Monday.  
The Manager Report with respect to this incident report says that as of  
August 22, 2014:  
Sharon as [sic] self-reported that she has a severe scent allergy. All attempts  
(including the purchase of an air purifier) to eliminate exposure have failed.  
30  
All attempts to eliminate exposure have failed. Others can't smell the scent  
that Sharon complains about.  
The Manager is working with Brad Kovach to seek an accommodation  
for Nordick and the Manager is requesting that the accommodation be  
fast tracked. The document says this:  
An accommodation is needed. Sharon currently works in an area accessible  
by the public.  
Sharon’s supervisor, Brent Latimer was away from the office on Monday.  
However, there were 2 other supervisors and the manager working that day.  
Sharon did not report to any. She did not report to Brent when he returned to  
work on Tuesday. She reported this exposure to Brent today because she  
complained that she was exposed again this morning.  
The anticipated corrective action is Reassignment of person.  
As of September 4, 2014, the OH&S Report section of the document  
says that the employee has been or is being moved to another desk  
location to see if this improves the contact with scent that this  
employee is exposed to. It says the person has spoken to Nordick who  
states that this happens daily depending on the staff working that day.  
This had happened again that day, which was September 4, 2014.  
On August 21, 2014, Nordick made a second report of an incident:  
A girl in dental is wearing something scented that is causing a reaction. I  
asked her to close the door to lessen my reaction. It affects my throat, my  
ears, my heart, my bones, my face turns red, and confusion sets in. My  
tongue is coated and my ears plugged, my stomach becomes gaseous, and I  
have a sore throat. I've taken Benadryl and turned on a fan an air purifier. I  
notified my supervisor.  
The Manager Report and OH&S Report with respect to this incident  
also say that management is working on fast-tracking an  
accommodation for Nordick.  
Nordick reported this incident because a co-worker witnessed the  
scent. Other staff had been trying to help Nordick. If a scent would  
come from Brenda H or someone from the public, and Nordick started  
to react, others covered for Nordick. They would turn the fans on, and  
the filter would be working. Nordick would go out and get fresh air for  
15 minutes or so and see if the scent had dissipated.  
That helped, but it depends on the toxins to which Nordick was  
exposed and for how long, like if she had to sit with Brenda H for a  
whole day or an hour. The entire time of the exposure, the toxins were  
getting into her system and making her sick. She would react to what  
was there at that moment and need to have time to detoxify. She  
worked Monday and Tuesday, had Wednesday to detox and then  
worked Thursday and Friday. Often by Thursday and Friday Nordick  
was feeling really bad.  
31  
One time Leslie Rea went into the bathroom and threw out all the  
products with fragrances. They got replaced and staff did not get  
reprimanded. Nordick was the one getting sick all the time, and they  
could come back the very next day and spray the perfume they had  
stored in the bathroom at work.  
When Nordick complained on August 21, 2014, it was because of  
exposure to scents from the girl in Dental whose door was within four  
feet of Nordick’s desk. “She was the one setting me off.” This was one  
of the days Nordick felt she should report. She did not report every  
incident of scent in the workplace. At times she would rush out of the  
building because she could not breathe. She was desperate and in  
tears. She had to stop on the grid road going home because her  
bowels let loose. This was all because somebody would not follow the  
scent free policy.  
These girls in the workplace were knowingly wearing perfume that they  
had to apply. This was not something they had in their home that came  
in on their clothes. The reports were just the tip of the iceberg to every  
day Nordick was exposed. In one of the reports somewhere, there is a  
note that Leslie Rea was investigating the intentional spraying of  
perfume in the department. The office of the dental manager, Leslie  
Topola, was near Nordick’s desk. There was always scent in Topola’s  
office, and Topola was an OH&S co-chair. Nordick took this issue to  
both Brent Latimer and Leslie Topola, and she never got any  
information on what was done.  
Nordick felt that the comments to the effect that others could not detect  
the scents, was denial on the part of management. She found this  
extremely frustrating. It caused Nordick a lot of anxiety and affected her  
health even more.  
SHA did not consult Nordick about relocation of staff.  
The only way I knew I was moving was that the manager held a staff meeting  
and after the meeting, she asked the admin staff, me and the other two girls,  
to leave the meeting. She told the rest of the PHIs, don’t worry, Sharon is not  
going away, but we will be moving her.  
[Everyone in the hearing agreed that this statement, without evidence  
from someone at the alleged meeting, is hearsay and that no one can  
rely on it for proof of what happened at the meeting.]  
Nordick felt the staff with whom she worked most closely always had  
her best interests at heart. They helped her and put safety plans in  
place when Nordick needed to go outside. She called to tell them when  
she got home safely. She is still friends with some of them today.  
Nordick was not happy with people like Brenda H who continually wore  
their product. She was frustrated that she could not get the issue of  
MCS through to them. She was frustrated that management did not  
help her to address that issue to staff members. She was frustrated  
32  
that she was never asked what would work for her. She was always  
told to stop reporting to the incident line. She was told there were  
complaints about her. Her work was never at issue. Her relationships  
with co-workers were never an issue. She couldn’t do her job because  
she was sick.  
August 19 to Kovach  
September  
15, 2014  
Kovach had discussions with Leslie Rea who suggested that they could  
move Nordick’s desk and explore DTA options. They arranged to meet  
on September 15, 2014.  
September  
Nordick  
In cross-examination:  
Asked about seeing someone at the North 49 Balance Dizziness  
Centre in September 2014, Nordick said:  
First of all not this is not the same as people generally get vertigo. You go to  
a height and look down and feel dizzy. This is Miniere’s disease. I would  
wake up in the middle of the night and could not move my head because the  
whole world is spinning. My eyes flash right to left and right to left and right to  
left. I presented that to the doctor. Any movement, even a light turn or nod  
creates Miniere’s. It is crystals in the ear causing imbalance in the inner ear.  
It has nothing to do with vertigo. Mine is definitely Miniere’s. It must have  
started around this time for me to seek medical.  
Nordick did not recall whether she missed work because of this  
specific bout of Miniere’s. The bouts never lasted long enough that  
she did not go to work. She does not recall whether this one  
happened on a day off or a day she was scheduled to work. That is  
going back too far for her to know which day she worked.  
Nordick said stress is a factor in Miniere’s. The episodes have  
come and gone over the years and Nordick has not had an episode  
for many years. She does not remember if she had any episodes  
before 2014. She agreed that she had three or four severe  
episodes around 2014 but has not had an episode for a very long  
time.  
September  
15, 2014  
Kovach met with Nordick, Rea and Latimer to start the accommodation  
process. He invited Blair McDaid from the Union to attend, but McDaid  
did not. They reviewed the situation and discussed the steps Rea and  
Latimer had already taken to address the scent issues. Kovach’s notes  
in Parklane reflect what happened at the meeting:  
meeting with ee, her manager Leslie and supervisor Brent to initiate the  
accommodation process. We reviewed the situation from an accommodation  
stand point as well as discussed the steps Leslie and Brent have taken to  
address the scent issues. explained frustrations as Leslie and Brent have  
taken significant steps to address the reports, however not a lot has changed.  
Sharon indicates she does have issues particularly with Brenda and her  
scent. Sharon indicated she feels Brenda has intentionally done things to  
irritate her. We did explain to Sharon several times the difficulty in addressing  
a scent that can't be identified after it is reported. explained from the  
accommodation view, we have an employee reporting multiple exposures to  
scent who works in a busy office with public access. solution was to relocate  
33  
her to a new area within the building with a more controlled environment and  
no public access. Sharon advised felt she was being punished and would be  
fine if Brenda would cooperate. Advised regardless ee has scent sensitivity  
which is affected when public enter facility, SHR needed to make sure she  
was safe at work and option to move her to another area needed to be  
explored. Advised ee when she reports scent is to speak with  
manager/designate prior to leaving as need to make sure she is receiving  
proper care, do not want to risk her safety and leave her unmonitored if she is  
reporting symptoms as noted in IR. EE advised she was upset, writer advised  
would review with SEIU and f/u as needed  
Kovach reviewed with everyone that SHR was to provide a safe work  
environment and advised that because there were concerns raised on  
scents, they needed to make sure they were working through that  
process.  
After the meeting, Kovach followed up with Blair McDaid from the  
Union. McDaid was Director of that area. Kovach reviewed what had  
happened at the meeting and what the Employer had done to date to  
help work through some of Nordick’s concerns. Kovach felt they were  
doing what they needed to do to work through accommodation  
process.  
Latimer  
Kovach  
The September 15, 2014 meeting with Kovach, Rea and Nordick rings  
a bell for Latimer.  
I know that Brenda was feeling very picked on by Sharon because Sharon  
identified her as the source and from our perspective it was a much larger  
issue than that. Brenda was not wearing scents on any investigation or when  
any manager talked to her, and we were looking to limit other exposure.  
September  
15, 2014  
The Employer issued a letter of expectation to Nordick:  
Letter of Expectations  
Further to our meeting of September 15, 2014, I would like to take this  
opportunity to clarify in writing performance expectations, in order to ensure  
you have a full appreciation and comprehension of your duties and  
responsibilities.  
The following will summarize our understanding and the expectations of the  
meeting being held today:  
You will work every scheduled and accepted shift unless you have been  
granted an approved leave or you are sick/injured;  
You will follow departmental practice for requesting leaves i.e. submit a  
completed Leave Request form to your manager. The leave request will be  
evaluated for its approval or denial;  
If I or a designate have verbally approved the leave requested, you are still  
responsible for submitting the Leave Request form at your next opportunity,  
unless directed otherwise:  
If your requested leave is denied, then you are expected to be at work for  
your scheduled shift;  
If you require a short notice leave, you are to request a leave according the  
SEIU• West Collective Agreement;  
34  
If you are sick or if you need to leave work for any reason during your shift,  
you are required to inform the manager or designate in person prior to your  
departure and:  
o
o
State the reason you are unable to continue working  
If you are sick or injured: indicate if it is related to an  
accommodation or return to work or not and provide the expected  
duration of illness  
o
In the event you feel that you are in such a state of distress you  
must leave the office due a medical reason and your safety may be  
at risk you are expected to communicate with your  
manager/designate so that arrangements can be made for you to  
receive proper medical care.  
During your period of illness, you may be requested to provide medical  
verification of illness. The verification is to be obtained during your period  
off illness and address whether you are injured or ill (nature of illness,  
diagnosis not required), the date(s) of illness, your expected return date  
and it is to be provided to your manager or a designate upon your return to  
work;  
You are responsible for covering all costs associated with obtaining  
medical verification of illness documentation.  
Should you fail to provide medical verification of illness  
documentation, you may be considered absent without leave (AWOL).  
Report all scent exposures as an incident report.  
When requested, you are expected to provide the employer with  
initial medical evidence of the limitations or restrictions associated with the  
disability, injury or illness.  
Provide detailed information to the Accommodation Consultant about  
the request for an accommodation and identify limitations, as well as  
participate in any discussions regarding possible accommodation solutions  
Sharon, I am confident that you will take the necessary steps to adhere to  
these expectations in the future. Please let me know if I can be of any  
assistance in helping you fulfill these expectations. This is not disciplinary.  
October 1,  
2014  
Kovach  
Kovach spoke with Blair McDaid from SEIU. His Parklane notes reflect  
the conversation:  
pc from Blair(SEIU) to review, he advised felt was not appropriate to move ee  
with out medical, writer advised ee has contacted IRL several times and  
wanted to make sure she was in safe work environment as actions taken by  
managers to address to this point have not been successful, he advised felt  
needed medical to support, writer agreed medical was needed and has been  
requested, however still wanted to make sure ee was safe, he advised would  
file grievance if ee was moved, writer advised employer was responsible for  
providing safe work environment, he advised this would be precedent setting  
as now ee's did not need medical, he advised if ee couldn’t push/pull would  
now not need medical to support? writer advised this was a different  
situation, ee indicating significant allergic reaction and move was to put her in  
safe work place, agreed needed to discuss further, he advised would not  
pursue ee any further as she has indicated did not want to meet.  
Writer advised would f/u with manager, requested medical again and f/u  
35  
pc to Leslie(mngr) to review, agreed felt move was in best interest, she  
advised would hold off on move until further discussion could be had, writer  
advised would like to review further with team and would f/u [typos in original]  
Nordick had not provided any medical at this point.  
October 2,  
2014  
Nordick  
Kovach  
There was a meeting with Leslie Rea in which Rea suggested that  
Nordick was going to be moving upstairs.  
October 2,  
2014  
Kovach had another call from McDaid. He told McDaid that even  
though they were awaiting medical, they still needed to make sure  
Nordick was in a safe place. They wanted to make sure something  
significant didn’t happen, but ultimately with no medical being provided,  
the issue would need to be addressed through management. Kovach’s  
Parklane notes reflect the conversation:  
pc from Blair(SEIU) he advised has reviewed with Marilyn(SEIU) as has  
some history on file, advised still felt medical was needed. Writer agreed.  
Advised still needed to have ee in safe work place, he adivsed couldnt do this  
without medical. writer asked if SHR should not beleve ee and wait until  
serious incident happened, he adivsed wasnt that he didnt beleieve, however  
if she is not providing medical or calling IRL without reason needs to be  
addressed through perfromance management. Writer agreed, however until  
issues were sorted out, ee still needed to be in safe place. Agreed further  
discussion was needed and writer would arrange time to review. [typos in  
original]  
October 3,  
2014  
Nordick  
Kovach  
On about October 3, Nordick no longer returned to work because the  
scent issue had come to pretty much to a head. She did not believe  
enough was being done to keep her protected and safe from toxins in  
the workplace.  
October 6 to  
20, 2014  
Ultimately, Nordick’s husband called in sick for her, SEIU asked for a  
disability package and the Employer sent it to Nordick. Initially in  
October, there was no medical, so there was an absent without leave  
letter sent to Nordick. Eventually the time was coded as sick time.  
In cross-examination:  
Kovach agreed that Nordick went off work in October of 2014.  
Kovach agreed that typically when the Employer receives medical  
information to say someone is off work, that cues the Employer to  
provide the employee with the disability income package with  
information on applying for disability (the “DIP” package).  
To the suggestion that in this case, Kovach had enough information  
to suspect Nordick had a scent related issue that was connected to  
her absence from work, Kovach said:  
I don’t know if I would say that. Anytime someone is away, there needs to be  
medical to substantiate that. Allegations verses objective findings are two  
different things.  
36  
To the suggestion the fact the Employer had purchased an air  
purifier to reduce scents, that Nordick had told Kovach she had  
sufficient issues that caused her to use sick time, and that the  
manager was going to move Nordick’s desk, should have been  
enough to establish that Nordick had a problem with scents, Kovach  
said:  
Again, medical. Objective medical is what is required to facilitate the process.  
Asked if he was saying the Employer has no duty unless there is  
objective medical, Kovach said:  
No. That’s not what I am saying. The individual brought allegations that  
needed to be investigated. In terms of purchasing an air purifier, it is manager  
trying to act in the best interest to determine what is best for the employee. I  
mean, again, investigations are held and if there is nothing to substantiate or  
further explain, that’s where we were at in this case and that is what lead to  
this meeting about how to work through the process.  
Asked if, when he set up the September meeting he was or was not  
initiating the accommodation process, Kovach said:  
You know, I think initiating the accommodation process doesn’t always lead  
to an accommodation. In this case, we have an employee claiming things.  
There are concerns in workplace, so Wellness tried to work through the  
process in support of her. That was initiating the process. Whether it followed  
through or not would depend on what medical basis was provided.  
Kovach confirmed that at the September meeting, he did not  
explain to Nordick that the Employer would not have access to  
medical information she submitted to 3S Health or WCB. Kovach  
could not say whether he told Nordick at any point from September  
of 2014 until the end of his involvement in the case that information  
she submitted to 3S or WCB would not also go to the Employer. He  
cannot say whether the 3S third party insurer explained that to  
Nordick. Typically, the consultants tell employees that their medical  
to 3S is confidential and not shared with the Employer.  
Counsel suggested that consultants generally did not talk to  
employees about whether or not they saw DIP medical. Kovach  
disagreed and said:  
I would not agree. There was a lot of times when information was requested,  
and employees would simply fax or send it in or email what was on the  
disability application. There’s cases where there was and where there wasn’t.  
The relationship between them and DIP was between them. They are a third  
party and we are not privy to that. DIP may want a diagnosis but the  
Employer is only entitled to the nature of the illness. Many times they sent us  
forms and many times they didn’t. The Employer supports the DIP  
application, but if it is not approved that is a different conversation.  
Kovach confirmed that the Parklane notes reflect phone  
conversations and emails with the managers, employees and the  
Union as part of the process.  
37  
Counsel pointed Kovach to portions of the Parklane notes in  
evidence that are redacted. Kovach confirmed that the redacted  
portions are where legal counsel, Kevin Zimmerman was giving  
legal advice to the Employer. The Union asked for an unredacted  
copy, and the Employer claimed privilege. Counsel agreed that the  
legal advice is privileged but disagreed on whether the privilege had  
been waived by the Employer putting the Parklane notes into  
evidence. The Union then noted that other Employer documents in  
evidence also have redacted portions which Employer counsel  
confirmed were also Zimmerman’s legal advice. Employer counsel  
pointed out there are also Union documents in evidence with  
redactions. After hearing counsel, I ruled that each party should  
identify the documents in question where there are redacted  
portions, the basis of any claim of privilege with respect to the  
redacted portion and the basis upon which they claim any waiver of  
the privilege. I advised counsel I would then hear legal arguments  
with respect to these issues later in the hearing. Counsel were able  
to agree on the privilege issues and the redaction of documents and  
arguments were not necessary.  
October 8,  
2014  
Nordick  
On October 8, 2014, Nordick attempted to apply for disability. She felt  
there was no enforcement of the scent free policy. She could no longer  
work in this toxic environment. She felt only thing she could do was try  
to get disability.  
Leslie Rea told Nordick the employees who were wearing the scents  
would be fined and that if they continued to wear scents, the manager  
would be fined as well. As far as Nordick knows, none of that ever  
happened.  
Nordick was also dealing with the Human Rights Commission at the  
time because she felt the lack of support the SHA was giving her was  
an issue of human rights.  
At the same time WCB denied Nordick’s application because she  
reacted to scents at work and at home.  
Nordick  
When Nordick started with the Saskatoon Health Region, she was  
given orientation. The dress code policy at that time said you cannot  
wear fragranced products and scented products laundry detergents,  
colognes and perfumes. Then there is the Scent Free Policy which is  
the picture they attach to the hospital doors and other places. When  
Nordick was hired, there were a few places she was told were not  
fragranced.  
Nordick was feeling that management were not taking her seriously.  
She was struggling because they kept asking for medical proof. They  
kept stating there was no scents in the workplace, yet the HEPA filter  
showed toxins. OH&S did not seem to be ready to help. Leslie Topola’s  
38  
office had scents in it. It seemed to Nordick that there was nowhere to  
go to get them to understand her condition.  
The OHS personnel and the manager that could do something to help  
with this were saying they would fine people, but on the other hand  
said they couldn’t find scented people. Nordick was dealing with  
Brenda H who was angry at her. Nordick was sick mostly every day,  
suffering the whole entire night just be to faced the next day with  
another person who made her sick. She felt like she was some kind of  
freak. It was very hard on her.  
Nordick had asked for accommodation in 2012 and nothing had been  
done with it. She had been reporting to the incident line. In 2012 all she  
was asking was that scent free be enforced. In 2012, nothing was  
done. Nordick just dealt with the perfumes on her own.  
In 2014, after Nordick refused to go to work and sent off documents to  
human rights, she remained at home from October 2014 until March of  
2015.  
October 15  
2014  
Nordick  
October 15, 2014, Nordick sent an email to Manager Leslie Rea,  
Supervisor and OHS co-chair Brent Latimer and SEIU-West union rep  
Blair McDaid:  
I believe I have the right to work in a safe environment and clearly the Health  
Region is not giving the Scent Free Policy the priority it deserves. As a result  
I have had to leave work on several occasions while the staff wearing the  
scents remain in the office without any repercussions. It has been well  
documented who is wearing the scent yet managment [sic] still claims that  
they do not know who it is. I have had to attend many doctors appointments  
for testing, treatment and support both physically and mentally. My health  
and livelyhood [sic] are seriously affected by the lack of action taken by the  
Health Region. I cannot afford any loss of wages and certainly cannot affort  
[sic] any more stress on my body. I feel I am under constant scrutiny by  
management and feel that they expect me to provide proof and solutions to  
the problem when the simple enforcement of the Scent Free Policy that the  
Health Region has in place would solve the majority of the problem. At this  
point in time, the cumulative effects of the health issues, the stress placed  
upon me and the apparent lack of effort by the employer to allow me to  
function as a normal human being has put me in a very uncomfortable  
position. I can no longer continue to perform my duties under these  
conditions.  
Management's solution to segregate me from the general workforce, place  
me in a confined work area and be treated like I was some kind of freak is not  
an acceptable solution. Please advise me in a timely manner and in writing  
what Is going to be done to ensure I can be treated equally, without  
harassment and be afforded equal opportunity within a safe work place just  
like any other employee should expect and deserve. Until such time as the  
Health Region takes this matter and addresses it in a proper and sincere  
manner, I will not be able to report to work and risk further deterioration of my  
health, my self-esteem and my dignity. Sharon Nordick [typos in original]  
This was after Leslie Rea had sent Nordick a termination letter [there  
was no termination letter, see October 17 below] basically saying  
39  
Nordick needed to produce medical evidence, otherwise action would  
be taken against her. This email was Nordick’s response to all that was  
going on. On reflection, the email was October 15 and the letter about  
medical verification was October 17, 2014.  
When Nordick sent this email, she was frustrated because the policy  
was not enforced, and staff remained in the office. Nordick had  
documented over and over again who was wearing the scent. People  
were going around saying they can’t smell the scent and therefore it is  
not there. The HEPA filter was going off and other people could smell  
the scent. Management couldn’t find who it was. Nordick had told them  
who it was. Nordick was upset because she felt management expected  
her to provide proof and solutions when simple enforcement would  
solve the majority of the problem.  
October 17,  
2014  
Nordick  
SHA sent Nordick a letter:  
RE; Absent without Leave  
You have indicated that you have severe scent sensitivity, but we have not  
received medical verification. Medical verification was requested on  
September 15, 2014 to verify your alleged disability with restrictions and  
limitations. Since you have not provided medical verification, you have been  
absent from work without leave since Wednesday, October 5. 2014.  
Attached is a medical form for your doctor to complete. Please submit the  
completed form to Employee Wellness & Accommodations Consultant, Brad  
Kovach.  
Until you provide medical verification substantiating that you were ill and  
unable to attend work as of October 15, 2014, you will be coded absent. We  
recognize you have claimed it is an unsafe work environment because of a  
disability, however, without any medical verification, we will not respond to  
that allegation at this time.  
We view this as a very serious matter. Should you fail to provide medical  
verification or attend work, disciplinary action may be taken up to and  
including termination. I trust that you understand how serious your actions  
are being viewed by the Saskatoon Health Region.  
Leslie Rea sent this letter to Nordick by regular mail, registered mail  
and email with the Medical Information Required for Employee  
Accommodation Form.  
October 21,  
2014  
Nordick  
Nordick sent an email to Leslie Rea, copied to Brent Kovach, Evette  
Laville and Blair McDaid:  
I am addressing management's action to consider me as AWOL. My  
scheduled days to work are as follows: Oct 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28. I am  
requesting that you mark me as sick time for these dates until I have a  
chance to meet with my doctor on October 28. I will also try to get a earlier  
appointment. You did not confirm whether you will be sending out the DIP  
package that I requested. Please advise whether this will be forwarded?  
The DIP package is the Disability Insurance Package Nordick would  
get from her workplace so she could apply to 3S Health for disability.  
40  
October 21,  
2014  
Nordick  
Leslie Rea responded to Nordick’s email:  
At this point in time, you have not indicated you are ill and unable to attend  
work. We are prepared to code you as being on a general leave of absence  
(LO) until you see your healthcare provider on October 28, 2014.  
Please note that any medical submitted must objectively support your inability  
to attend work and identify what is impacting your ability to attend work  
including any restrictions and limitations.  
The DIP package was sent to you on October 20, 2014. If you require a DIP  
package earlier than your receipt of it through the mail, a DIP package can be  
retrieved from Human Resources at 715 Queen Street.  
Nordick picked up a DIP package and applied.  
October 22,  
2014  
Nordick  
Nordick dropped off her intake form to human rights.  
Dated  
Tymchak Tymchak completed a document entitled Attending Physician's Initial  
Statement Disability Income Plan Benefits. Under Diagnosis, the doctor  
said:  
October 23,  
2014 but  
actually  
November  
23, 2014  
Primary: multiple chemical sensitivities  
Secondary: - known allergies to carrots anaphylaxis  
Motrin disposea  
In the form, the doctor confirms his recommendation that the patient  
stop working due to this medical condition as of October 9, 2014. The  
reason for the recommendation is that she is “unable to function in the  
workplace”. Tymchak said he attached copies of reports from three  
other doctors. The form describes the patient's symptoms has “hives,  
facial edema, dyspnea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fatigue, reduced  
concentration, headaches, confusion”.  
In the form, he confirmed that Nordick took antihistamines and an  
EpiPen as needed. He said the worker needed to be provided with a  
scent free environment at her job and that she could be anticipated to  
return to work when the proper environment is provided. He said he  
expected to review the patient in two weeks. He had referred Nordick  
to a physician Dr. Koehncke who is an occupational health doctor  
because of a decline in her condition, primarily with respect to  
respiratory matters. The others included Dr. Hall who is a dermatologist  
and Dr. Persaud who is an allergist.  
October 23,  
2014  
Nordick  
The October 17 letter said Nordick needed a medical note for her  
absence to be considered sick leave. Tymchak provided Nordick with a  
doctor’s note which she delivered to the Employer. The notes says:  
Sharon should remain off work for medical reasons. She will be reviewed Nov  
5 or 6/ 2014.  
41  
In cross-examination:  
Counsel suggested Nordick has no tests or reports to say the sole  
cause of MCS relates only to exposures at SHA facilities, Nordick  
said:  
No MCS is a chronic condition. It doesn’t turn on and off. It does – it does –  
again I want to make the having to be in a room for eight hours where I  
have reaction from perfume and I have to remain for eight hours as I tried to  
cope is completely different than going into a grocery store and passing  
someone in the aisle. I go down another line. I don’t go down the detergent  
aisle in the store. The reactions are according to what I am around.  
Essential oils are one that I can’t be around. Gain detergent – not a cut and  
dry that every time I react the same. Not cut and dry that in 2000 I reacted as  
I do in 2020. The disease has progressed. That is part of the Dr. Paul page. It  
progresses with exposure with time with toxic buildup. That is what happened  
leading up to 2017. Accommodation for two years. No change. Dr. Tymchak  
said it didn’t work. Nothing was put in place to change it and the toxins  
eventually got to the point that they built up in my system that a new  
symptom occurred with the severity of the throat closing up.  
Nordick agreed that when she raised her issues by email on  
October 15, 2014, Brent Latimer was on the OHS Committee but  
she can’t remember if he was the chair or if Leslie Topola was the  
chair. It was one or the other of them at various times. Latimer was  
Nordick’s supervisor. Leslie Rea was Nordick’s manager.  
To the suggestion that at this time, the Employer, without medical  
information, was trying to take proactive steps to put her in a  
separate office away from scents, Nordick said:  
That’s nice in theory, but you have to remember she was putting me in a  
room without consultation. Her solution was to stick me in the old library. Nice  
thought in theory that they were giving me this room. In reality it was a worse  
place for me again because the library and again because staff members that  
helped me was gone. New staff, I did not know the names of. There was no  
one upstairs at that time where the old staff members downstairs I would say  
I’m not feeling good so I can’t reach Brent or Leslie. Tell them I am going  
home. I phoned them to tell them I am home. They made a safety plan for  
me. They would take over, turn on fans. I went out. Those things that made  
me safe were all taken away from me.  
Now I am upstairs. I don’t know names – bathrooms home care had 600  
people coming out every day. It didn’t seem a positive move. There was no  
discussion to me about this move. What do I need? What would be good for  
me? We’re just moving you upstairs to the old library.  
To the suggestion that at this point SHA had no medical and even  
without that Latimer put in a HEPA filter like Nordick uses in her  
house, Nordick said:  
No, it is not. …We had gone through all the WCB claim in 2012. Leslie was  
fully aware of my condition. She had to respond. As early as 2011, there was  
some sort of WCB action going on. I have notes of January 2012. As early as  
42  
May 10, I believe 2010, I had been reporting to the incident line. I am sure  
there is medical because medical was coming through through all of this.  
Counsel suggested that Nordick does not know what the Employer  
received from WCB and can’t confirm she provided medical to SHA  
in this 2012 timeframe suggesting she had a disability. Nordick said:  
We can go through the binders. I know my doctor provided the medical to  
WCB. What goes on with the SHA and how they share the information is not  
up to me. I am doing what they say. …I totally complied in every way. There  
were always medicals provided. How and where they went once SHA had  
those, I don’t know.  
Asked to confirm that in 2014, Latimer provided her with a HEPA  
filter, Nordick said:  
Let me check my notes. 2014. HEPA. I was using it before. It was in the  
fishbowl with me. My memory knows it had been set off by the staff from the  
dental. It went into next gear from green to yellow to say there was something  
there. Leslie and Brent were saying they could not smell the scent and again  
we are not dealing with the toxins. This is same time of Brenda H, the same  
time Leslie Rea had gone into the bathroom and physically removed products  
that contained scent. I had applied to WCB, that is all before this occurred.  
Asked to agree that Latimer tried the HEPA filter and that they  
posted the scent free policies and posters at entrances, Nordick  
said:  
The only scent free poster was the one I was aware of was the one I found  
and retrieved from Joyce, Leslie Topola’s secretary – who was OHS chair at  
the time and I got the poster and I put it by my desk and I made one with a  
big green sick face that said please don’t come around my desk.  
Nordick said there were about 750 people going through the  
Idylwyld Centre. At the time, she spelled off the main receptionist,  
taking her turn relieving for lunch and coffee breaks, as part of her  
job.  
Counsel suggested that within Nordick’s incident reports, on most  
occasions she was not able to point to the source of the problem.  
Nordick said:  
I disagree. …Most times I could link the scent to the person, but the incident  
line will not take the names of the people that are staff.  
Nordick agreed that Brenda H was a source of exposure and that  
she had been exposed to something in the photocopy room.  
To the suggestion that many times she did not know what toxin  
caused that exposure, Nordick said:  
I never know what toxin causes the exposure because there are many toxins  
in one perfume. At the start when I said Brenda’s perfume bothered me, they  
put staff member names and then as time went on, they would not include  
the staff member’s name and at the end they wouldn’t give me a total printout  
but only what I had said. I believe there would be a manager’s report to say  
43  
what action they would take. I only found out after I had started to ask for the  
reports.  
To the suggestion Latimer and Rea investigated the incident reports  
Nordick made, Nordick said:  
No, Brent and Leslie on the day I complained, they would walk through the  
building trying to find that scent and link it to somebody because previously I  
had done that and try to sniff and see who it was. Then they took it on  
themselves, instead of me. They tried to find it and couldn’t find it and then  
documented there was no scent. That kind of action is like a peanut allergy. If  
I am reacting to a peanut and everybody else aren’t, it doesn’t mean there  
aren’t peanuts there. That child would notice the peanuts. If I can smell it and  
react because I have swelling of my tongue, I have symptoms. They do not  
have the symptoms with it.  
Again, they did not look at my incident report. They immediately that day  
when I complained when I was reacting, they would immediately well not  
immediately, but at some point later they would walk around the building  
trying to locate the scent and when they couldn’t locate the scent that was it.  
My complaints were not being addressed.  
To the suggestion that in October 2014 the Employer made an  
effort to isolate her from exposure, Nordick said:  
They did try to put me in that room to try to isolate me. The room again. At  
the March meeting in 2015 that did not follow my doctor’s orders of open  
window or work from home.  
Asked if she was aware that on at least one occasion Rea sent an  
employee home, Nordick said:  
I would not have been privileged to that discussion between her and  
whoever. …I do know that there was not one time at a staff meeting at our  
staff meeting that the scent issue was brought up in all the years I worked  
there.  
To the suggestion that there were extensive periods between times  
when she reported to the incident line, Nordick said:  
Yes, there is. I never reported every incident every occurrence. And at one  
point in time Leslie Rea told me to stop reporting to the line. That is what  
caused the letter on file.  
To the suggestion she was having periods of time for months with  
no scent reaction, Nordick said no. There was never months  
between scent reactions.  
Counsel said, “You are having these reactions, but you are not  
thinking this is a medical issue, that it is because the Employer is  
not enforcing the scent free policy?” Nordick responded:  
I was diagnosed in 2008. I knew it was a medical issue.  
Counsel suggested that Nordick was having all these exposures  
and steps were being taken for her and she was still not providing  
medical to the Employer.  
44  
Nordick said:  
I had asked for accommodation in 2012. That was the earliest time.  
Counsel suggested there is no written record of that in the  
production. Nordick said:  
Yes, there is some. I certainly have a written record somewhere. I think it was  
even on my spread sheet that we have here about me asking for my first  
accommodation.  
Counsel said he did not see any written record in 2012. Nordick  
said:  
Maybe not in these paperwork. At that time I just asked them to enforce the  
scent free policy.  
To the suggestion that if she thought the Employer’s effort was to  
isolate her as a freak, she was not going to listen to the idea of a  
mask either, Nordick said:  
I had already asked for a mask and then Brent said the HEPA would be  
better than a mask.  
Counsel put it to Nordick that on October 20, 2014, Leslie Rea  
asked Nordick to have her doctor complete a medical form and that  
every time after that when she provided medical for an absence it  
was coded as sick time. Nordick said the Union said it should be  
sick time and there were some issues and eventually it was coded  
as sick time. Nordick agreed she was not disciplined because of  
this.  
She provided me with the DIP package that didn’t come and I picked it up  
and I proceeded to make the application.  
Nordick said her accrued sick time covered her for a few weeks of  
the period from October 2014 to March 2015.  
Then I was left without any income from any sources for a couple of months  
and then I applied for EI on December 24th. In October 2014 I dropped off my  
files and information to human rights.  
October 27,  
2014  
Nordick  
Nordick  
There was a staff meeting where Nordick was asked to leave the staff  
meeting along with the other two secretaries and a meeting continued  
without them being present.  
November  
20, 2014  
The Disability Income Adjudicator sent Nordick a letter telling her the  
information received indicates that her condition has arisen as a result  
of or during the course of employment. As a result, before they will  
assess her application further they require her to apply for workers’  
compensation benefits.  
Nordick was hesitant to apply for WCB benefits because of the  
experience she had in 2012. Leslie Rea had made notes to WCB as to  
how she witnessed Nordick’s reactions. It was just so frustrating  
45  
because Nordick had given them everything much like she gave the  
region everything, and they kept asking for medical proof.  
December  
11, 2014  
Nordick  
Nordick appealed the 3S health decision. In her letter, she sent WCB  
all the information from her 2012 WCB application and appeal to show  
them that WCB had denied her claim and appeal. The process was  
becoming very frustrating because it was bumped back from WCB and  
then 3S health bumped her back to WCB again. All Nordick wanted  
was to be at work.  
At this point Nordick was desperate for 3S to pick her up because she  
had no income and the work situation was too stressful and too toxic.  
In her letter, she begged them to pick her up.  
December  
18, 2014  
Nordick  
Kovach  
On December 18, 2014, 3S Health wrote to Nordick and asked her to  
make a new WCB application because potentially what had happened  
in 2014 was a new claim.  
December  
23, 2014  
3S Health wrote to Nordick and told her to apply for WCB benefits  
because the information she previously provided indicated that her  
condition has arisen as a result to for or during the course of  
employment. 3S health is the health insurer separate from SHA.  
December  
24, 2014  
Nordick  
At some point, Nordick had used up all her sick time and she had no  
income. She does not remember exactly when she ran out of sick time,  
but there had been a couple of months without any kind of income and  
Nordick was frustrated about that.  
On December 24, 2014 Dr. Tymchak suggested she apply for  
employment insurance sick benefits. Nordick went from Dr. Tymchak’s  
office to the ED office and applied. She was granted the EI sick  
benefits. Her EI claim is dated December 21, 2014 and would have  
ended on December 19, 2015, but the last week she was paid for that  
claim was March 29, 2015. That was when she finally had a return-to-  
work program.  
After Nordick claimed EI benefits, her manager paid out her statutory  
holiday pay and then EI clawed back the benefits. Nordick had not  
asked that her stats be paid. She requested her vacation pay, but that  
was at a different time later on.  
December  
27, 2014  
Nordick  
Nordick  
Nordick wrote to 3S Health and sent a December 11, 2014 medical  
report from Dr. Koehncke. Nordick says she had obtained the forms  
and will be applying for WCB. She asks if there is any financial help for  
her in the meantime.  
January 5,  
2015  
On January 5, 2015, 3S Health denied Nordick’s disability claim on the  
basis that she could be at work if the employer enforced the scent-free  
policy. They recommended she continue with a new WCB claim.  
46  
In part, the letter says:  
Upon our review of the medical information submitted, it is noted that you  
could be at work if your Employer enforced the scent-free policy at your  
workplace. In Dr. Koehncke's report, it was advised that you were functioning  
well on the previous floor that you worked on and it was unclear why your  
Employer moved you. On exam, there were no symptoms noted, and you  
were advised to avoid any potential triggers. While we can appreciate that  
you may encounter symptoms, the medical information shows you could work  
in a scent-free environment.  
Without evidence that supports you are Totally Disabled, we are not able to  
accept your application. It is, therefore, with regret that we advise your  
application has been denied.  
Nordick’s frustration continued. They kept asking for medical proof and  
in Saskatchewan, there is no doctor that can perform the tests that are  
required for MCS, and there are no qualified personnel to read the  
results of tests. This has been a developing disease where information  
has been changing as more and more information has been found.  
There are several good doctors in Canada with information and  
experience with MCS, but they are not in Saskatchewan.  
Nordick did what she could. She provided medical from Dr. Tymchak  
many times and went to allergy specialists.  
January 6,  
2015  
SHA sent a letter to Nordick to say:  
Our office has received notification that your 3SHealth Disability Income Plan  
(DIP) claim has been denied. Our payroll records indicate that you have not  
returned to work, therefore remain on an unpaid leave of absence effective  
November 11, 2014.  
Please read the following very carefully:  
There then follows information about group life insurance, the disability  
income plan, the retirement plan, enhanced dental/extended health,  
and basic group life insurance. The letter then concludes with:  
If you are appealing 3sHealth’s decision to deny/close your disability claim,  
you are not required to complete any forms at this time.  
If you win your appeal, your benefits will continue as they were prior to  
3sHealth’s initial denial. No premiums are required as long as you are on an  
approved DIP claim.  
If you lose your appeal, and you have not actively returned to work, you will  
remain on an Unpaid Illness leave (as stated previously in this letter). It is  
your responsibility to notify us if your appeal has been denied. Our  
department will send you new forms for you to complete at that time.  
You will have 30 days from the date the appeal was denied to make  
arrangements with Saskatoon Health Region to continue with your life  
insurance coverage (up to a maximum of 12 months).  
You will have 60 days from the date the appeal was denied to request a  
SHEPP cost calculation. SHEPP will advise you of the cost to purchase  
service on a monthly basis. Payment arrangments are made directly between  
SHEPP and yourself.  
47  
Please contact me if you have any questions regarding your benefits or  
contact SHEPP directly at 1-866-394-4440 if you have questions related  
directly to purchase of service. [emphasis in original]  
January 12,  
2015  
Nordick provided Employee Wellness and Accommodations with an  
Initial Medical Report of Injury/Illness Form from Dr. Tymchak.  
January 12,  
2015  
Tymchak Tymchak completed a Saskatoon Health Region Initial Medical Report  
of Injury/Illness form on which Nordick consented to release of  
information on January 12, 2015.  
The form says:  
Nordick suffers from illness and that she is unable to return to  
work because of the environmental issue of scents in the  
workplace.  
Nordick has been referred to another healthcare provider on  
December 8, 2014.  
Scheduled reassessment is to be monthly.  
Tymchak said the December 8, 2014, referral was to Dr. Koehncke.  
January 13,  
2015  
Kovach  
Kovach spoke with Leslie Rea, and she told him Nordick was working  
through the WCB process.  
The EWA people had Dr. Tymchak’s letter. It said Nordick was not able  
to return to work and there is a check mark referring to scents in the  
workplace. It also said she had been referred to another health care  
provider. This meant she was potentially seeing someone for some  
other care or diagnostic testing. From a wellness perspective,  
clarification was needed. Eventually they sent a letter sent not too long  
after this requesting clarification on the situation.  
In cross-examination:  
Kovach agreed that by January when Tymchak provided this  
medical, Nordick had been off and not working for about two  
months. Asked to agree that the medical information flagged that  
the problem was scents in the workplace, Kovach said:  
I guess I do, but I would argue clarification is needed on what that means.  
Kovach said that is why the Employer asked for further information  
in its January 26, 2015, letter.  
Nordick  
Tymchak’s conclusion after Nordick saw Dr. Koehncke on December 8,  
2014, was that Nordick should avoid triggers and the Employer should  
enforce scent related policies.  
Dr. Hull was a physician Nordick saw before Dr. Koehncke. Nordick  
had gone for testing. At that time, Hall found some allergies not related  
to MCS including an allergy to hospital cleaners.  
48  
There was no further follow-up about any counseling. “I was getting  
asked to see Dr. Hull because I wanted to know if anything would show  
about the scents.” Dr. Hall sent Nordick to Dr. Persaud who sent her to  
Dr. Hall who sent her back to Dr. Persaud, all in the effort to satisfy the  
request for medical proof. When Nordick asked them, neither one of  
these two knew of or had education about MCS.  
January 26,  
2015  
Nordick  
SHA provided Nordick with a letter requesting clarification of the  
medical issues as part of the accommodation process. Nordick took the  
letter to her doctor to have it completed. The letter tells Nordick that the  
Employer requires the updated medical information to support what is  
restricting her ability to return to work through the accommodation  
process. The doctor is asked to provide information with respect to  
specific restrictions based on medical findings so they can implement  
the duty to accommodate/return to work process. The doctor is asked if  
it would be safe for Nordick to return to the workplace if she had her  
own office and if there were any other relevant details. [Tymchak  
responded on February 22, 2015 (see below)].  
February 10, Kovach  
2015  
SHA (Brad Kovach) sent another letter to Nordick on February 10,  
2015, requesting medical clarification to assist in the accommodation  
process:  
I am the Accommodation Consultant with Employee Wellness and  
Accommodations who has been assigned to manage your medical file. My  
role is to assist with getting sufficient medical restriction information to  
support you with a successful return to work accommodation.  
A requirement for more detailed medical clarification was sent to you on  
January 26, 2015, to be returned to me by February 6, 2015. To date. the  
information has not been returned, nor hove you contacted our deportment to  
advise when the information will be returned.  
Within the accommodation process. it is the responsibility of all employees. to  
comply with reasonable requests for updated medical information to assist  
with return to work planning. Employee Wellness and Accommodation s has  
provided ample time to allow for a response to this request for information. A  
response from your health care provider is required on or before February  
23. 2015.  
The Duty to Accommodate process Is a three -party relationship, between the  
Employer, Union, and yourself as the Employee. As such it is important that  
you provide timely, objective medical information, as requested that identifies  
your limitations and restrictions. and a prognosis of your recovery time  
period. Failure to comply with the request for information will result in a  
referral to our Labour Relations Deportment to address noncompliance within  
the accommodation process. Please be aware continued noncompliance may  
impact your employment.  
I have included my original letter from January 26. 2015. Please have your  
health care provider complete this by the above noted deadline.  
49  
Schultz  
Kovach  
In cross-examination:  
To the suggestion that Schultz had prepared the January 26, 2015  
letter to Nordick, Schultz said that this was before she was on the  
file and that Kovach had prepared it.  
Schultz agreed that she would have reviewed this document when  
she took over the file.  
February 10  
to 12, 2015  
Kovach wrote this letter to Nordick to ask that the medical clarification  
letter sent January 26, 2015, be returned by February 23 because to  
February 10 the doctor had not responded. Kovach also wanted to  
outline the accommodation process and emphasize it was a three-party  
process involving the employee, Union and Employer.  
That day Kovach also sent an email to Marilyn Irwin from SEIU to ask  
the Union to contact Nordick to review her participation in the process.  
On February 12, 2015, Kovach sent Irwin an email to say that he would  
refer the matter to labour relations if he did not receive anything from  
Nordick.  
February 22, Nordick  
2015  
Tymchak filled out the January 26, 2015, medical request on February  
22, 2015. Nordick delivered the letter to the front desk.  
February 22,  
2015  
Tymchak’s report of February 22, 2015, says:  
The only restriction is that she is unable to work in an environment where she  
is exposed to scents. She has also found that significant exposure to paper  
or paper “dusttriggers her symptoms as well.  
The SHA letter asked if Nordick was provided with her own office would  
she be fit and safe to return to the workplace. Tymchak said:  
I understand from Sharon that in order for her to do her work she has to go  
from one area of the building to another or one office to another. In these  
travels she has been exposed to scents which trigger a reaction. If she can  
work safely in an office / environment that is scent free she could return to  
work.  
The SHA letter asked for other relevant details. Tymchak said this:  
I'm not sure how the “scent free” policy is enforced but it seems that Sharon  
has reported exposures to scents and no action has been taken or others  
deny that there is a problem at all. How could this issue, which seems to be  
the crux of the problem, be resolved?  
February to  
March  
Kovach  
The purpose of the January 26, 2015, letter was to get clarification on  
the issues. Quite often the Employer gets letters about medical that  
needed clarification. In this case, there were concerns about mitigating  
exposure and scents. Article 4.05 of the CBA says what is required in  
terms of medical. The letter asked for further information by asking  
specific questions.  
In order to go through the accommodation process, the Employer is  
looking for objective information on how to work with the employee on  
50  
what that looks like. The letter asked, number 1, is she safe to return to  
work. Then it asks for relevant details to assist with return to work or  
accommodation.  
Dr. Tymchak’s response was that the only restriction is for Nordick to  
be placed where she is not exposed to scents. Given that, she should  
be able to return to work. He then also adds that paper dust triggered  
her symptoms as well. If those were addressed, she could return to  
work.