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No free-standing duty to treat employee “fairly and with due respect for dignity" during accommodation process

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Health Care

In Emergency Health Services Commission v. Cassidy, 2011 BCSC 100, the BC Supreme Court ruled that there was no free-standing procedural obligation on an employer to treat an employee “fairly, and with due respect for his dignity" during the duty to accommodate process, the failure of which could ground an award of damages.

The BC Human Rights Tribunal had previously ruled in this case that while accommodating the employee's physical disability would have represented an undue hardship to the employer, the employer was still liable for damages to the employee for failing to treat him fairly and with due respect for his dignity during the duty to accommodate process.

The damages awarded by the Tribunal included an award of $22,500 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect. 

The Tribunal's decisions can be found here:

A summary of the court's decision by David G. Wong at law firm Fasken's can be found here: "The HR Space: No Separate Duty of Fair Treatment in Accommodation in BC" (August 9, 2011).