Stress from performance warnings not a mental disability

Complaints about worker’s performance and employer’s meetings about them caused her stress but no evidence of disability requiring accommodation
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 03/14/2018

Awareness of mental disabilities and the need for employers to accommodate them the same as they would physical disabilities is on the rise. However, accommodation is a co-operative process and when an employee requests accommodation, it doesn’t automatically mean the employer has a duty to accommodate. The employee must be able to show she actually has a mental disability requiring accommodation, not just normal workplace stress.

A British Columbia worker who claimed her employer caused her to develop a mental disability from a toxic workplace and then dismissed her because of that disability has had her claim dismissed by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Tracey Young was a social worker hired by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (VCHA) in August 2016 to work in a psychiatric ward at a hospital for patients with psychiatric illnesses. The unit to which Young was assigned was for both mild and severe psychiatric illnesses. When she started, her employment was subject to a three-month probationary period.