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Disability

Definition of disability and the Ontario Human Rights Commission

When creating policies that make statements about accessibility, attempts should be made to view disability as a social system instead of a schedule of impairments in order to align an organization’s forward movement with principles of Human Rights. Also, the time is long past due for an evaluation of how intersecting identities can create unique accessibility and accommodation needs.

 

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To defer or not to defer a human rights application: What are the relevant questions?

Where the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario finds there is a separate proceeding that may involve similar facts, the Tribunal has discretion to defer consideration of an application until the proceeding has been completed. Such was the question, whether or not to defer the application in the recent interim order in West v.Yogen Fruz Canada Inc.

 

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Allergies in the workplace

Many people across the world face allergies that have an effect on every aspect of their lives, including the workplace. These allergies can impose difficulties on either being in a workplace or performing certain tasks in their job. One thing for employers to note is that if the allergy is severe enough, it would probably be considered a disability and must be accommodated appropriately.

 

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Accommodating disabled employees: Can an employee demand to work at a different workplace?

In a recent case, an adjudicator concluded that an employer failed to accommodate an employee on long-term disability who requested that she be permitted to work in a different work location than a co-worker for mental health reasons.

 

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Accommodation of childcare

In the following case, a breach of human rights legislation was found where the employer refused to allow the employee to have the summer off in order to look after her autistic child.

 

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Human Rights Tribunal finds miscarriage constitutes disability

A recent interim decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal addressed whether a miscarriage could constitute a disability for the purposes of human rights legislation.

 

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Hegemony and disability, a further social critique

Hegemony in the context of disability works on a level where systems are negotiated by society’s institutions. The ability of an institution to accommodate new demands in terms of accessibility is an example of the institution’s flexibility. However, there are institutions that are so ingrained in history and social context that they prove to be almost unmovable (Omi & Winant, 1980). This is how disability and hegemony interact at the simplest level, but on another level there is a grid of interlocking systems that cater to the category of disability, as well as perpetuate discrimination in its current form. These systems of societal input inform and naturalize dialogues of discrimination.

 

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White privilege and disability

Only recently has the subject of white privilege come under scrutiny. White privilege has informed government, policy, relationships, youth, old age, trajectories of state bodies and even points in geo-political history. Like racial narratives, constructs that reproduce normality have allowed the concept of being able bodied to be viewed as positive and disability as negative.

 

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Manitoba customer service accessibility standard

The Manitoba Customer Service Accessibility Standard (CSAS) under the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA) comes into effect November 1, 2015. The CSAS requires all of Manitoba’s public, private and non-profit organizations with one or more employees that provide goods or services directly to the public or to another organization in Manitoba, to establish and implement measures, policies and practices to remove barriers to access to the goods or services it provides.

 

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No “give and take” required by employee in accommodation under the Human Rights Code

The applicant, Michele Macan, filed a human rights application alleging discrimination with respect to employment due to disability. The respondent, Stongco Limited Partnership, rejected the allegations, instead submitting that the applicant’s disability was “not a reason, a factor, or even considered in its decision to terminate the applicant”.[1] The respondent alleged that her termination was […]

 

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Accessibility and transitions

There is an accessibility consideration that I have been thinking about for quite some time which isn’t covered under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is the accessibility of transition. It was a thought that started around the same time as when the new subways started to show up in Toronto, and the height and width became a new barrier for some people who rely on transit to get to and from work.

 

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No obligation to let employee smoke marijuana at work as a form of accommodation

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, in French v Selkin Logging, found that an employer did not discriminate based on the ground of physical disability by refusing to allow the employee from smoking marijuana at work. The company’s zero-tolerance policy for drugs constituted a bona fide occupational requirement (BFOR).

 

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The trajectory of the AODA

It would seem that there is some movement towards a more motivated government with regards to leadership and the AODA… 

 

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Poisoned work environment, discrimination, and undue hardship under the “Code”

Rule of law

A recent Ontario Human Rights case further underscores the employer’s ongoing duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship, and that Code based harassment or discrimination constitutes a breach under the Human Rights Code of Ontario.

 

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Emra v. Impression Bridal Ltd.: The hefty price of ignorance of the ‘Code’

The human rights case of Emra v. Impression Bridal Inc. reminds us that a disability may be  hidden, but when brought to the employer’s attention, it should not be ignored

 

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