Addicted employee stretched accommodation to the limit

Employer made accommodation efforts but eventually couldn’t continue without indication employee’s absenteeism would improve
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 07/31/2012

No light at the end of the tunnel

Addiction to drugs and alcohol is a disease, and as such is considered a disability. Like any disability, employers are obligated to do what they can to accommodate an employee with such a disability. Throw in some depression, and there are some accommodation efforts that need to be made.

However, an important part of accommodation to remember is that it isn’t open-ended. The obligation ends at the point of undue hardship for the employer. If an employee’s disability is negatively impacting the employer too much and there’s no end in sight, it may be time to terminate the employment relationship.