In cases where an employer suspects that an employee suffers from a mental illness that may be affecting their performance at work, the employer has a duty to inquire.
Is it the employer’s duty to inquire whether an employee has a mental disability? The BCHRT recently considered a case that addresses this.
Generally, before an employer can be required to accommodate an employee’s mental disability, the employer must know, or ought reasonably to know, that the employee has such a disability in the first place. It is usually up to the employee to inform the employer of the disability.
If, however, the employer has reason to suspect a disability, the employer may have a “duty to inquire” as to whether the employee has a mental disability, before taking steps that would negatively affect the employee. A failure to make such an inquiry may lead to a finding of discrimination. The recent decision of Hammell v. Corporation of Delta and another, 2017 BCHRT 246, sheds helpful light on the question of whether and how the duty to inquire … Continue reading “BCHRT considers the duty to inquire as to the presence of a mental disability”
If the duty to accommodate is a well-known concept, the duty to inquire is a fuzzy notion. The principle is that an employee seeking accommodation for a disability is under a duty to disclose sufficient information to her employer to enable it fulfill its duty to accommodate.