Tag archives: accommodation

US: Return to work considerations for New York employers during COVID-19 pandemic

Businesses with operations in New York State and, particularly, in New York City, face unique obstacles with respect to reopening their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  With over 380,000 confirmed cases across the state, and over 200,000 confirmed cases in New York City, most New York residents have been affected by the virus in some way, and many are apprehensive about reentering the workplace. New York City’s dense population of over 8 million residents and approximately 10 million commuters — many of whom rely on public transportation — undoubtedly exacerbates these concerns.  In light of these concerns, Governor Cuomo extended … Continue Reading

Easter & Passover 2020: Pandemic reminders for employers

Good Friday marks the start of the Easter long weekend in Canada. Undoubtedly, this year, festivities will be observed differently. Due to COVID-19, large gatherings are currently prohibited and most private and public places of recreation are closed, including places of worship. Employers must continue to navigate these trying times, holiday or not. Below, we have outlined a few key reminders for employers and as the long weekend approaches.

Non-essential services closed

Jurisdictions across Canada have ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, some until at least May, pursuant to powers under applicable emergency legislation. This weekend will be no … Continue Reading

It Takes Two to Tango: Employee-duties in the Accommodation Process

In 2012, Statistics Canada reported that 11% of the population aged 25 to 64 (or 2.1 million people) reported having limitations caused by a physical or mental disability, with conditions ranging from hearing loss, to visual impairment, to mobility challenges, to pain, to mental health conditions.  As our population ages, disability-related conditions are only projected to increase.  In light of these statistics, and given that many Canadians will spend most of their day in the workplace, knowing how to accommodate employees in the workplace has become a key part of managing today’s workforce and employees knowing what role they are … Continue Reading

Local doesn’t make the grade: The need to accommodate employees with anxiety when writing qualifying exams

John Betts, (the “Applicant”) was a carpenter and member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 1256 (the “Union”). While the parties were not engaged in a traditional employer-employee relationship, the Applicant was protected from discrimination by the employment related sanctions of the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”).

Like most regulated trades, carpenters undertake an apprenticeship program which consists of on-the-job and in school training. Upon completing the apprenticeship program the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities administers a qualifying exam. Those who receive a passing grade on the qualifying exam will be issued … Continue Reading

Post-termination evidence of mental illness leads to reinstatement

In the recent decision of Cape Breton (Regional Municipality) v CUPE, Local 933, 2014 NSSC 97, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court upheld an arbitrator’s decision to conditionally reinstate an employee who had been terminated due to excessive absenteeism. The employer was not aware that the employee suffered from depression at the time of the termination.

The employee was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and took a 23 month leave. During that time, she was also diagnosed with depression. When she returned to work in 2008, the employer was unaware of any specific medical condition or workplace limitations that … Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeal clarifies Canadian law on discrimination based on family status

This blog post was written by William Hlibchuk, a partner in the Montréal office.

On May 2, 2014, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) rendered two decisions relating to discrimination based on family status. In so doing, the court clarified the scope of the prohibited ground of family status contained in the Canadian Human Rights Act, as well as the legal test for finding a prima facie case of discrimination on the same ground.

Although both cases turned on specific facts involving parents that had sought accommodations from their employers based on childcare needs, the common element of … Continue Reading

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