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Duty to Accommodate

"Accommodation of Mental Disabilities in B.C."

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

"Accommodation of Mental Disabilities in B.C." (June 2010) is the title of a paper written by Taryn Mackie. Ms. Mackie is a lawyer at Bull Housser Tupper in Vancouver, BC.

The Table of Contents set out the following topics:

  1. What Constitutes a Mental Disability under the Human Rights Code
  2. Properly Assessing the Disability
  3. The Employer's Duty to Make Inquiries
  4. Determining the Nature and Extent of the Accommodation
  5. The Employee's Obligations with respect to Accommodation 
  6. Case Example: ADGA Group Consultants Inc. v. Lane
  7. Terminating Employment When Accommodation is Not Possible or is Unsuccessful

"Employer Rights and Obligations in Connection with Employee Personal Medical Information"

Vancouver labour and employment lawyers Carmen Overholt, Q.C. and Matthew Curtis have written a paper on, "Employer Rights and Obligations in Connection with Employee Personal Medical Information".

The paper was written for the Meeting of the Council of Industrial Relations Executives on June 8 and 9, 2010 in Vancouver, British Columbia with the assistance of David R. Phillips, articled student.

"Disability Management Compliance"

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Three Calgary lawyers at Gowlings - David Corry, Loretta Bouwmeester and Chris Sabat - have prepared a a 48-page overview of the key legal considerations for employers in "Disability Management Compliance". The Table of Contents is as follows:  read more »

British Columbia's "Employment Law Conference 2010" (CLE)

As I noted in my post a few days ago, I presented a paper on The Law on Workplace Investigations: An Update on Key Developments on May 13, 2010 at the BC "Employment Law Conference 2010" Continuing Legal Education (CLE).

The other presenters on Day 1, and their topics, were:  read more »

Reasonable to request Functional Capacity Evaluation and Independent Medical Examination in accommodation process

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In a recent case - Sluzar v. City of Burnaby (No. 3), 2010 BCHRT 19 - the BC Human Rights Tribunal ruled, among other things, that the employer had a valid and reasonable basis for requesting that the employee attend a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) and an Independent Medical Examination (IME) with a psychologist, as part of the accommodation process.

You can read Bull Housser Tupper's summary of this case here.

The Top Ten Canadian Court Decisions on Arbitration

In addition to presenting an audio conference on the "Top Ten" Canadian employment law and wrongful dismissal cases (see my previous post), Lancaster House recently presented on the "Top Ten Canadian Court Cases on Arbitration". Again, in no particular order, the cases and the issues they address, are:  read more »

Discriminatory to dismiss for non-culpable absenteeism months before severance obligations triggered

The decision by the BC Human Rights Tribunal ("Tribunal") in USWA v. Weyerhaeuser, 2009 BCHRT 328 is important and worth reviewing for two key reasons:

  1. It re-affirms that employers can terminate the employment relationship for innocent or non-culpable absenteeism and provides some guidance on how this can be done through a formal "termination program"; and
  2. It is a reminder to employers that they can be found to have contravened human rights legislation if they treat employees on disability leave different than active employees when addressing severance entitlements at the time of a permanent closure.


The United Steel-Workers Association, Local 1-423 (the "Union") filed a representative complaint with the Tribunal alleging that four of its members (the "Employees") were discriminated against with respect to their employment, on the basis of physical and mental disability, contrary to section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code (the "Code").  read more »