Disclosure of disability post-dismissal (Toughest HR Question)

Legal obligations depend on what employer knew – or should have known – before termination
By Colin Gibson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/13/2014

Question: We dismissed a non-union employee for poor performance and gave her severance pay in lieu of notice. The employee now claims her performance problems were caused by a disability and she has offered to provide a doctor’s note. We didn’t know about any disability when we terminated her. Are we required to do anything?

Answer: The legal obligations of an employer facing a post-termination claim of disability will depend on what the employer knew — or should have known — before the employee was terminated.

Human rights legislation across Canada protects employees against discrimination based on certain protected grounds, which include mental or physical disability.