policies & procedures
IF EMPLOYEES WITH DISABILITIES REQUIRE IT TO DO
THEIR JOBS, EMPLOYERS MUST WAIVE OR CHANGE
THEIR RULES, REQUIREMENTS, PROCEDURES AND
POLICIES TO ALLOW FOR EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES.
are with respect to their job duties, including
supporting information where
appropriate, and co-operate with the employer
on an ongoing basis.
Employers must accept accommodation
requests in good faith, unless they
have legitimate reasons for acting otherwise
(and have documented those reasons
accordingly). They should only ask for the
information they need to provide the accommodation.
For example, an employer
may need to know that a person requires
time off to go to medical appointments related
to their disability, but not that they
have bipolar disorder.
Employers need to explore accommodation
options that meet individual
needs, deal with accommodation requests
promptly, respect the dignity of the employee
and cover accommodation costs.
Accommodations may include modifying
job duties, making physical changes to
a work area, offering flexible work schedules,
providing alternative work or
granting disability leave. People returning
to work after a disability-related leave also
have a right to accommodation.
In situations when an employee is
clearly unwell and perceived as having a
mental health disability, managers must
ask if the person has needs related to a
disability and offer assistance and accommodation.
Employers should take this
step before disciplining a person based on
Creating inclusive workplaces requires a
proactive strategy to prevent and remove
barriers to equal participation, including:
a plan for preventing, reviewing and
removing barriers; anti-harassment and
anti-discrimination policies; data collection
and monitoring; human rights
education and training programs; internal
complaints procedures; and an accommodation
policy and procedure.
Accommodation is an obligation that
also offers tangible benefits. Creating an
environment where employees feel welcome
and respected offers the business
rewards of increased productivity, lower
employee turnover, a bigger talent pool to
draw from and a more inclusive workplace.
For more information, go to
Mashoka Maimona is a senior communications
officer at the Ontario Human Rights
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32 ❚ SEPTEMBER 2015 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL
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