Long-term disability (“LTD”) coverage is often a key benefit employees derive from their employment. LTD benefits can provide significant security to employees in the form of income continuation when they are disabled due to an illness or injury. Today we deal with some common misconceptions that employers may face when attempting to manage an employee's absence due to disability.
The decision in this case makes it clear that it is not enough for an employee with a disability to merely inform his or her employer of a desire to return to work. The employer’s duty to accommodate will only be triggered when the employee provides the employer with evidence of his or her ability to return to work, including any disability-related needs or restrictions.
Canadian human rights law also imposes a duty to accommodate. This requires employers to ensure that persons with characteristics protected under the Code are not unfairly excluded where working conditions can be adjusted.