Ontario employers have the obligation to accommodate the needs of employees on the job, and workplaces are expected to have accommodation policies and procedures in place. The right to be accommodated and the duties of the employer are no well-established in statute and case law. But, what does all of this really mean? How does the employer accommodate a return to work? What if the cost of accommodation is something the organization is unable to undertake?
Join us on March 20th, 2018 to learn more about how to navigate the accommodation process.
Registration is limited. Be sure to register early so you don't miss out!
1. Legislative Overview
Ben Kropp, VP of Government & External Relations, OSG
Overview of the Ontario Human Rights Code and AODA as their pertain to accommodation and how they shape the Employer – Employee relationship.
2. Accommodating Mental Health
Jennifer Threndyle, Consultant at Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
Many employees face invisible barriers to employment due to mental illness. This session will review the obligations placed on employers and provide tools on how to handle accommodations with respect and dignity.
3. When Health & Safety Requirements Conflict with Religious Beliefs
Jeff Thorne, Manager of Training & Consulting, OSG
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, discrimination because of religion (creed) is against the law. Everyone should have access to the same opportunities and benefits, and be treated with equal dignity and respect, regardless of their religion or creed. Where a person has been negatively affected by a requirement, factor or rule based on religion or creed, failure to accommodate may lead to a finding of a breach of the Code. This can get complicated when health and safety requirements conflict with religious beliefs and practices. This discussion will provide clarity on what to do in these circumstances and what religious beliefs, observances, and practices are part of one's faith or religion and what is excluded.
4. Risk Assessment of a Worker with Restriction
In order to successfully accommodate an employee, the employer needs to complete a risk assessment taking into account that employee's restrictions. This session will review the various steps needed in order to ensure a successful risk assessment.
5. Confidentiality & Transparency: An Uneasy Co-Existence?
Elizabeth Traynor, Labour & Employment Partner, Siskinds LLP
It's not news that maintaining confidentiality is a key function of Human Resource professionals. But how can you maintain confidentiality when you need co-operation from stakeholders to accommodate an employee? What happens if confidentiality is breached? At the same time, "transparency" is a corporate buzz-word we're hearing everywhere. What aspects of the accommodation process require transparency? What are the tensions between these two concepts?
6. What does "Undue Hardship" Really Mean?
Mary Lou Brady, Labour & Employment Partner, Siskinds LLP
As Human Resource professionals, you know that employees must be accommodated "to the point of undue hardship". But what is undue hardship? What factors can you consider in assessing undue hardship? And what factors should you ignore? As important, what procedural steps must be taken before claiming an inability to accommodate on the basis of undue hardship. Simply put, when is enough, enough?