Network - Spring 2011 - (Page 13)

that Michelin could both understand and apply in reintegrating the employee into the workplace.” They added that the information “needed to be practical, timely and comprehensive, tailored to the purpose of accommodating the employee on the road to returning to work” and that “the diagnosis and treatment presented by the attending physician and expressed in terms of restrictions or adjustments required by the employee has to link up with the reconfiguration of the workplace as identified by the employer so as to facilitate the employee’s return to work.” The Board explicitly noted that, “Michelin required a basic level of information on Mr. Halliday’s disability in order to embark and succeed in the exercise of accommodating Mr. Halliday. Put simply, it cannot begin looking for something unless it knows what it is that it is looking for.” A similar conclusion was reached by the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in Scarlett v. Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation, a 2010 decision. These cases should provide some level of comfort to employers dealing with disabled workers who don’t ignore or refuse requests for information. It is also important to remember that employees are not entitled to perfect accommodation, but to reasonable accommodation. Employers should not be forced to adopt the preferred or requested form of accommodation if it is not the most reasonable or appropriate one. As most employers will know by now, there are no black-and-white rules with respect to what constitutes undue hardship. Much will depend upon the nature of the organization itself. Anyone hoping for more specific guidelines may well be disappointed, as the Supreme Court has confirmed that “because of the individualized nature of the duty to accommodate and the variety of circumstances that may arise, rigid rules must be avoided.” That said, the duty to accommodate has limits. If the employer can show that potential accommodation would cause it to suffer undue hardship, it will not be required to provide such accommodation. However, the onus in the effort to accommodate a disabled employee rests on the employer, who must lead the process. O Stuart Rudner is a Partner in Miller Thomson’s Labour & Employment Law Group. You can reach Stuart at 416.595.8672 or 905.415.6767, or by email at You can also follow him on Twitter @ CanadianHRLaw or connect with him on LinkedIn. Editor’s Note: “Legal Source” appears regularly in Network magazine. Don’t miss Stuart Rudner’s valuable commentary on some of today’s thorniest HR law issues! Thank You! The phenomenal success of our association i h l f i ti is a reflection of the ever-increasing dedication and enthusiasm of members who support our association in so many ways. Our association committees allow members to contribute a wealth of experience and valuable perspective to guide the future direction of the HRIA. We would like to take this opportunity to recognize our volunteers’ outstanding work in 2010. It is only with the help of volunteers like you that we have been able to achieve success year after year. Th k Thank you to each and every one of our t dedicated volunteers participating in the following committees: • Awards Selection Committee • Board – Governance Committee • Board – Finance & Audit Committee • Complaints, Investigation & Discipline Committee • Conference Speaker Selection Committee • Editorial Advisory Committee • HR Experts • Post Secondary Liaisons • Professional Mentoring Committee • Special Projects Committee • Recertification Audit Committee NETWORK O Spring 2011 Volunteer_Ad.indd 1 O PM 1/26/11 1:42 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Network - Spring 2011

Network - Spring 2011
HRIA President’s Message
Legal Precedents Clarify Accommodation Procedure
Thank You!
Accommodation: Have a Plan and Stick to It
Disability Management and Duty to Accommodate: The Need for Good Documentation
Accommodating Disability, Not Bad Behaviour
Common “Mistakes” In Accommodation and How to Avoid Them
Case Studies: Managing Workplace Back and Neck Injuries
Accommodating Addictions in the Workplace
Duty to Accommodate – Employee Responsibilities
The Separation of Church and Work
When to Cut Sick Staff Off
The HR Office
Index of Advertisers

Network - Spring 2011