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March 19, 2018

This report was inspired by an article written by Kelsey Orth, of CCPartners. Supreme Court Of Canada Affirms That Employers Have A Distinct Obligation To Consider The Duty To Accommodate Separate From Other Legislative Requirements.

The Supreme Court of Canada decision reconfirms employers have a duty to accommodate that is separate from any other legislative or administrative process [be it in regards to private or public insurance, employment standards, WCB, OH&S, or otherwise]. 

For most, this serves as a simple reminder. Regardless, we felt it worth bringing attention to this by posting it here for your review.

In the above-noted case, the commission responsible for administering a worker’s compensation claim agreed with the employer that once the initial accommodated assignment was concluded, the employer had no further work (for him to administer workers’ compensation legislation).

The individual then filed a human rights complaint arguing that the workers’ compensation commission’s ruling was not determinative on whether or not the employer had satisfied its duty to accommodate.

“In our view, this is the proper result, and illustrates why we always caution employers that, the matter the involvement and outcome of any other process – including Worker’s Compensation or third-party insurance claims adjudication –  the employer’s duty to accommodate as a separate and distinct obligation that must be considered in every circumstance.”

Sam Kemble

Director, Labour Relations and Workforce Delivery