Every employer has experience accommodating employees due to their religion, family needs, and disability. Accommodation is a necessary practice to manage a workplace today, and it’s the law in Canada, enshrined in the Canadian Human Rights Act and various provincial/territorial statutes. But every case of accommodation is different, and interpretations of the law vary.
The Canadian Human Rights Commission says:
The duty to accommodate refers to the obligation of an employer or service provider to take measures to eliminate disadvantages to employees, prospective employees or clients that result from a rule, practice or physical barrier that has or may have an adverse impact on individuals or groups protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act or identified as a designated group under the Employment Equity Act.
But only to the point of “undue hardship”. If the required accommodations would demand too great a cost or lead to intractable health and safety issues within the organization, the employer is freed from its obligation to accommodate.
But you know all of that, and you probably already take the duty seriously. You take the Meiorin test when instituting new controls:
- Is the standard for a purpose rationally connected to the performance of the job?
- Do you believe in good faith that the standard is necessary to fulfil the legitimate work-related purpose?
- Is the standard reasonably necessary to accomplish that legitimate purpose?
Still, it seems some employers can never do enough, no matter how hard they try. Can you be sure that your accommodation efforts will be enough to satisfy your employees in need? Find out at the 2011 Ontario Employment Law Conference, where employment and human rights lawyer Allison Taylor will get you up to speed on:
- What the courts and human rights tribunals are saying about the standard required of employers
- Practical strategies for accommodating family status and sporadic absences
- How to avoid common missteps
- How to manage a termination for “frustration of contract”
Here’s Allison with an idea of what to expect.
So what are you waiting for? This is a whole lot of good advice from knowledgeable professionals! Register for the 2011 Employment Law Conference—and Learn the latest! (Registrations now closed)
First Reference Human Resources and Compliance Editor