Not all relapses are created equal

July 12, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Stephanie Gutierrez

An addiction to drugs and/or alcohol is considered a disability in Canada. As such, employers in Canada often enter into last chance agreements with employees suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction. But does a last chance agreement always mean it’s the employee’s “last chance”? Not necessarily. read more…

Duty to accommodate doesn’t require exempting employee from essential duties

March 15, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Andrew Bratt and Megan Rolland

Canadian human rights legislation generally requires employers to accommodate the disabilities of their employees up to the point of undue hardship. In the recent case of Pourasadi v. Bentley Leathers Inc. (2015 HRTO 138), the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario considered whether undue hardship was reached in the context of a retail employee with a physical disability that affected her ability to serve customers. read more…

Google: not a replacement for individualized accommodation

January 25, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Megan Rolland

It may be convenient and easy to use, but you cannot find the answer to everything on the Internet. As one Canadian employer recently learned, Google research on a medical condition is not a proper substitute for individualized accommodation. read more…

Adverse-effect discrimination and probationary employees

September 28, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Kyla Stott-Jess

In Canada, it is well-established that employers cannot simply terminate employees whose work performance is negatively impacted by disability. Rather, an employer must attempt to accommodate the employee to the point of undue hardship. But what happens when the employee fails to notify the employer of his disability? Further, what accommodation does an employer need to provide to an employee who is still within a three-month probation period? read more…

Human rights damages awarded by Ontario court

January 19, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Eowynne Noble

In 2008, Ontario’s Human Rights Code was revised to specifically permit Ontario courts to award damages for breaches of the Code. Before this, it was only the Human Rights Tribunal that had jurisdiction to award damages for human rights violations in Ontario.

Since then, Ontario plaintiffs have made many attempts to obtain human rights damages in wrongful dismissal and other employment-related lawsuits, but none have succeeded until now. For the first time, the Ontario Superior Court has awarded damages for a breach of the Code in Wilson v. Solis Mexican Foods, 2013 ONSC 5799. read more…

Objective medical proof not necessary for accommodation duties to arise

November 10, 2013 1 COMMENTS

By Marc Rodrigue

Under human rights legislation across the country, Canadian employers have a general duty to accommodate employees who are unable to perform their work for a period of time because of illness or disability to the point of undue hardship.

This may require an employer to grant an employee a leave of absence from the workplace. But what if the employee doesn’t provide medical documentation to justify such an absence; surely you could deny the leave? Not necessarily, according to an Ontario arbitrator in TRW Canada Ltd. and TPEA (Lockhart). read more…

Accommodating Disabled Workers – Undue Hardship in Hard Times?

October 25, 2010 0 COMMENTS

by Chuck Harrison

When warehouse worker Dan Tomasella was injured in a car accident in 2008, his employer did the right thing: Maersk Distribution accommodated his graduated return to work and provided him with light duties.

Maersk stepped up again when Tomasella’s shoulder injury was further aggravated. But when the economy took a turn for the worse, Maersk laid him off because of his disability. A labor arbitrator has now found that the employer’s human rights “duty to accommodate” substantially changed when its business was sideswiped by the crashing economy.

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