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Duty to Accommodate

"Advice to Unions and Employers Regarding the Accommodation of 'Invisible' Disabilities"

Four lawyers at Black, Gropper & Company (S. Michelle Blendell, Jessica L. Burke, Pamela Costanzo and Allan E. Black, Q.C.) and two lawyers at Roper Greyell (Kim G. Thorne and Michael Kilgallan) have written a very comprehensive paper entitled,  "Advice to Unions and Employers Regarding the Accommodation of 'Invisible' Disabilities" (November 2007).

"Attendance Management Guide"

Law firm Hicks Morley has published a comprehensive "Attendance Management Guide" that addresses the range of legal issues an employer must consider/address when managing attendance problems. 

Tribunal finds that no-free standing right to accommodation under the Canadian Human Rights Act

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In Moore v. Canada Post Corporation, 2007 CHRT 31, the complainant alleged that his employer discriminated against him by failing to accommodate his disability.

On this point, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal stated:

...I cannot emphasize enough that "failure to accommodate" is neither a prohibited ground of discrimination nor a discriminatory practise under the CHRA. There is no free-standing right to accommodation under the CHRA.

The duty to accommodate only arises in the context of s. 15(2) of the CHRA and only when a respondent raises a bona fide justification by way of defense to an allegation of discrimination. For Mr. Moore to show a prima facie case, he must rely on something other that the failure of CPC to accommodate him (paras. 86-87)

Nova Scotia arbitrator finds that "ordinary" family obligations do not require accommodation

Jurisdiction: - Nova Scotia
Sector: - Unions

In Canadian Staff Union v. Canadian Union of Public Employees [2006] N.S.L.A.A. No. 15 (QL), a Nova Scotia arbitrator found that "ordinary" family obligations do not require accommodation. You can read a summary of the decision by Michael Conradi, a lawyer at Miller Thomson LLP in Toronto, here.

Ontario Human Rights Commission issues "Policy and guidelines on discrimination because of family status"

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario Human Rights Commission has recently issued "Policy and guidelines on discrimination because of family status". The Policy contains the Commission’s interpretation of provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code relating to family status. 

Bell Canada ordered to pay damages for failing to accommodate employee who was breastfeeding

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In Cole v. Bell Canada, 2007 CHRT 7, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ("CHRT") ordered Bell Canada to pay damages to an employee for failing to accommodate her breastfeeding schedule.

Facts

The employee had 13 years of service and worked in a Bell call centre.

She went on maternity leave. Her baby was born with a heart defect. The physician recommended that she breastfeed as long as possible in order to strengthen the baby's immune system. Further to this, the employee developed a breastfeeding schedule that required a feeding at 4:30 pm every day. 

The employee's usual shift was from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday. On rare occasions she worked from 8:15 to 4:15.   read more »