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Ontario court confirms that employee with "anger management issues" not disabled under Code

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Public Safety

In Gulick v. Ottawa Police Service, 2012 ONSC 5536, the Ontario Superior court confirmed that an employee with "anger management issues" was not disabled for the purposes of the Ontario Human Rights Code and thus not entitled to accommodation.

Specifically, the court stated the following in this case, which involved the dismissal of a police officer:

[15] While the incident giving rise to the disciplinary hearing did involve
some consumption of alcohol and medications, the Hearing Officer found as a
fact that the incident was triggered by anger management issues with which the
applicant had been struggling for several years.  The Hearing Officer found
that alcohol was, at most, an exacerbating factor.  We are not aware of any
jurisprudence which has established that anger management issues will support a
finding of disability.

[16] Addiction arising from alcoholism and/or drug abuse or post traumatic
stress disorder may amount to a disability within the meaning of the Code
However, the onus on a person claiming a disability is to prove it. There was
some evidence that the applicant was addicted to alcohol and some medically
prescribed drugs. There was also some evidence that the applicant was suffering
from post traumatic stress disorder.  However, there was no evidence that any
of those conditions rendered him unable to perform any aspect of his job
description.  Indeed, quite the opposite was claimed.  In submitting through
his counsel that the appropriate penalty was simply a demotion, the applicant took
the position that he was able to perform and carry out his essential employment
duties.