As of February 1, 2020, U-Haul no longer hires nicotine users in 21 of the US states in which it operates. The company, which employs over 30,000 people across the US and Canada, announced this new policy late last year. While it may be easy to understand U-Haul’s stated rationale for introducing this anti-tobacco policy, to adopt the same in Ontario would likely expose the company to liability.
Under the Human Rights Code (Ontario), the duty to accommodate in the workplace is a two-part obligation. Employers who do not make at least a reasonable effort to comply with this obligation can find themselves having to pay a financial price. This was the reality in Qureshi v. G4S Security Services, 2009.