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Duty to Accommodate

2009 Accommodation Law Conference

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The 2009 Accommodation Law Conference is being held in Vancouver on May 27 & 28 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

It will adress "New legal breakthroughs in the duty to accommodate and their impact on union and employer representatives in Canada".

The conference is being put on by the Centre for Labour-Management Development.

Union counsel presenters are Theo Arsenault, Gary Bainbridge, Gino Fiorillo, and Shona Moore, Q.C. Employers counsel presenters are: Chuck Harrison. Michael Wagner, Kevin Wilson and Andrea Zwack.

Discharge upheld where employee with gambling addiction stole $1,600 from co-worker

Jurisdiction: - Nova Scotia

Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, Local 40N and Farmer's Cooperative Dairy Ltd. January 11, 2009 (Christie) (Nova Scotia)

“How Far is Too Far?” Termination and Accommodation of Disabled Employees"

Jurisdiction: - Alberta

Alberta lawyers Donald J. Wilson, Jonathan Cummings and Wendy-Anne Berkenbosch, of Davis LLP prepared/presented a paper on “How Far is Too Far?” Termination and Accommodation of Disabled Employees" for the CBA Pensions and Labour Joint Subsection Meeting on October 27, 2008.

The paper addresses the following topics:  read more »

Canadian Human Rights Commission releases "Policy and Procedures on the Accommodation of Mental Illness"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Canadian Human Rights Commission recently created an internal policy and procedural guideline on the Accommodation of Mental Illness, which they have decided to share with others.

According to the Commission, "The policy...outlines the accommodation process and
provides guidance to help managers and supervisors take the initiative to ensure employees with a mental illness are offered appropriate accommodation when necessary."

The document will be of significant value to any organziation looking to create its own written policy setting out how it will satisfy its legal duty to accommodate employees with mental illnesses. You can view the policy here.

Union construction sector in BC develops first ever drug & alcohol policy for construction worksites

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Construction

The Construction Labour Relations Association and the Bargaining Council of British
Columbia Building Trades Unions announced today that they have jointly developed a Substance Abuse Testing And Treatment Policy as part of their collective agreement negotiations.

The policy will apply to all union construction workers in BC; it is believed to be the only such industry-wide agreement in Canada.

According to the news release, under the policy:  read more »

Supreme Court of Canada modifies law on Wallace Damages

On June 27, 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its much anticipated decision in Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays 2008 SCC 39.

In the decision, which some view as a victory for employers, the court modified the manner in which Wallace damages are calculated and provided further clarification on when they, along punitive damages, should be awarded in the employment context.

As part of its analysis on Wallace damages, the SCC also provided some guidance to employers on the extent of their right to medical information in accommodation cases.


Mr. Keays had been employed by Honda for 14 years when his employment was terminated in March 2000. At the time, he was in a data entry position.  read more »

"Ten Key Differences Between Canadian and U.S. Employment Laws"

Christina Medland and Joe Vicinanza have written an article on "Ten Key Differences Between Canadian and U.S. Employment Laws" (December 11, 2007).

The authors are lawyers at Torys. The article was published in the firm's Pension and Employment Bulletin.