Changing work hours failed to accommodate employee’s disability: tribunal

Different hours had previously been approved to accommodate employee's multiple sclerosis
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A British Columbia company discriminated against an employee with multiple sclerosis (MS) when it changed his work hours, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has ruled.

Dennis Chong worked Violetta Industries Ltd. in Burnaby, B.C., as a builder of water sterilization systems. He was hired March 30, 2005, and as part of his employment agreement, he was entitled to five sick days and flexible work hours. Chong had MS, which caused extreme fatigue around 3 p.m. each day. As a result, Chong received approval in June 2005 to work from 6: a.m. to 2 p.m.

The owner of Violetta, Douglas Somerville, soon learned Chong had MS. He changed company policy on paid leave and flexible hours, saying employees required one year of service before they could take time off with pay and the company’s work hours were 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with no exceptions.