The circumstances that an employer must accommodate continue to expand. After all, the workplace is no longer what it used to be. So, where does the duty to accommodate come from?
duty to accommodate
Many employers have introduced mandatory COVID vaccine policies that will take effect this month. I am being asked two main questions in relation to the implementation of this kind of policy. The first issue is whether to grant exemptions to the policy for religious or medical reasons. An employer has an obligation to consider the request but can request additional information in connection with the request. The onus is on the employee to show the reason for not getting vaccinated is a sincerely, freely and deeply held belief that is integrally linked to a person’s identity, self-definition and fulfilment.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission ("OHRC") recently released a policy statement regarding vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates (the “Policy”). The Policy provides helpful guidance for employers.