Diabetic worker refused to switch shifts

Did employer go far enough in accommodating worker's needs?
|Canadian Employment Law Today

This instalment of “You Make the Call” takes a look at a case where a unionized worker with diabetes refused to switch shifts and was subsequently terminated as a result.

In the summer of 2004, Meridian Automotive Systems in Brantford, Ont., attempted to move the worker from the midnight shift to afternoons because of a decline in production. The worker, a member of the Canadian Auto Workers union, did not have enough seniority to remain on midnights. She took the position that her Type 1 diabetes prevented her from working the afternoon shift.

On Aug. 5, 2004, she submitted a note from her family doctor stating that because of her diabetes she had to work straight shifts with no alteration in her schedule. Meridian was puzzled by the note because the afternoon shift was a straight shift. Meridian told her the medical note did not support her claim.