Employers foggy on accommodation (On law)

Undue hardship a fine line
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|CHRR, Report on Healthy Workplaces|Last Updated: 04/09/2007

The treatment of disabled employees is becoming an increasingly important concern for employers, but what is required is often difficult for them to determine. It’s an issue that can involve the law, collective agreements and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

What is clear is that employers have a duty to accommodate disabled employees to the point of “undue hardship,” but many are uncertain or unaware of what this can entail. Although it can differ depending on the situation, there needs to be co-operation between employer and employee to ensure a fair situation for both.

When an employer is found to have not fulfilled its duty to accommodate a disability, it’s usually because either the employer was not aware of the extent of its duty or it felt it did not have a duty at all. An example of the former came in the arbitration case of