Employees with disabilities
We know that the AODA employment standards requirements are demanding because we have heard about the challenges from those organizations with 50+ employees that were obligated to comply in January 2016. Smaller employers with fewer resources may need additional assistance to keep track of the project, including reviewing, updating and implementing many HR forms and documents such as job offers, employment contracts, job postings and applications to ensure they are consistent with the new accessibility standards.
The Ontario Government announced an audit blitz this fall pertaining to compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”). The blitz, which runs from October through to the end of December, is targeting large retailers with 500 or more employees.
The AODA Employment Standard deadlines are not as far away as they may seem. The Employment Standard is one of five accessibility standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005. It outlines accessibility requirements employers must meet throughout the employment life-cycle.
Employers must accommodate employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The accommodation of scent sensitivities arose in a recent decision of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”). It raises questions as to what is considered undue hardship when accommodating an employee with a sensitivity to scents.
One of the most difficult decisions employees or applicants have to make is to decide whether to inform their employer of their non-obvious disabilities. Why?