Teacher used sick days for vacations

Zdena Novy, now retired, had been asked to reimburse the district for her false claims.

A Maple Ridge elementary teacher acknowledged professional misconduct and was given a reprimand after using paid sick days to supplement her holidays.

Zdena Novy taught at Whonnock elementary.

In 2008, she claimed illness and received two days sick pay while on a trip to Maui, Hawaii.

In 2010, she claimed another paid sick day, while travelling to Toronto.

And in 2011, she claimed four paid days while on vacation in Jamaica.

The next month, February 2011, the school district issued Novy a letter of reprimand.

She was told to repay seven days of sick leave that she had wrongly claimed, and also required her to provide a medical certificate to substantiate any claimed sick leave for a period of three years.

But in April 2011, she took a paid sick day to attend a dermatologist appointment. Novy said she needed the day due to stress about the possibility of her having skin cancer.

However, the doctor said the 10-minute appointment was related to the fungal infection of a toenail. The dermatologist’s office was located 42 minutes from Whonnock elementary.

There were three other occasions in 2011 when Novy claimed paid sick days for medical appointments. Two would have taken under an hour, and one an hour and 20 minutes.

On June 5, 2014, the school district gave her a letter of discipline and imposed a five-day suspension. The district asked for reimbursement of three days of salary, and a requirement she provide a medical certificate for all sick leave absences for three years.

In July 2014, the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation considered the matter and Novy admitted the facts claimed by School District 42. She agreed that it constituted professional misconduct, and to accepted a reprimand .

Novy no longer works for the school district, having retired.

According to a district spokesperson, the retirement was not related to the reprimand.

Maple Ridge News