Disability in the workplace: Perception matters

Employers can be liable for discrimination for a perceived disability whether one exists or not
By Ashley Brown
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 12/11/2013

Employers in all jurisdictions across Canada have a legal obligation to protect their employees from discrimination against various grounds under human rights legislation. Disability is one of those protected grounds. But discrimination is not limited to whether or not an employee actually has a disability.

Courts have found that the act of discrimination is something that can happen regardless of the circumstances. An employer may think it’s acting proactively when it takes action to deal with an employee it thinks has a disability, but if that employee doesn’t actually have one, look out. Employment lawyer Ashley Brown discusses the difference between perception and reality when it comes to accommodation and discrimination.