It’s never easy to talk about mental illness – particularly not with your employer. However, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal recently held that even if it’s uncomfortable, an employee may have the obligation to discuss their condition with the employer in order to allow the employer to come up with a proper accommodation.
Last April, in K.B v S.S, 2016 BCHRT 61, the British-Columbia Human Rights Tribunal found that an employee failed in his duty to work with his employer to come to a reasonable accommodation. Finding an accommodation requires the cooperation of both parties and without knowledge of the disability, the employer could not be held responsible for discrimination. The fact that it may have been emotionally difficult for the employee to share this information with his employer did not absolve him from that requirement or put on the onus on the employer to be omniscient.
Written with the assistance of Lucas Rivet-Crothers, summer student.