Duty to accommodate a serious obligation

Pregnant Alberta woman’s discrimination complaint shows employers must be careful to treat all employees fairly
By Stuart Rudner
|Canadian Employment Law Today

In a recent article, I referred to the duty to accommodate as a potentially endless source of frustration. (See the Jan. 31, 2007 issue or go to www.employmentlawtoday.com, click on “advanced search” and enter article # 1195.) That article reflected the perspective of those who work, on behalf of organizations, to deal with all of the issues relating to the accommodation of disabled workers.

There is another, sometimes diametrically opposed, perspective. The need for accommodation can also be an endless source of frustration for those who truly are in need of accommodation. Sometimes, employers just don’t get it right, either intentionally or simply out of carelessness or lack of knowledge. For an individual seeking to overcome a disabling condition and earn a living, this can be an exasperating and demoralizing experience.