The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released a Policy statement on religious accommodation in schools.
duty to accommodate
March 2017 - Education providers are responsible for many things, including delivering a curriculum, managing the various other aspects of educational services, ensuring student safety, fostering pluralistic environments that respect human rights, and managing tension and conflict as they arise in the school setting. Schools ought to be a place for healthy discussions about acceptance and where a diversity of views can co-exist. Educators should communicate messages about difference in a fair and respectful manner and be sensitive to the views of everyone protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code. Students, staff and parents should realize that they cannot reasonably expect their own views and beliefs to be respected if they are not willing to respect the views and beliefs of others.
Toronto – On February 1, following the launch of its updated Policy on ableism and discrimination based on disability, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) will release a new policy statement on medical documentation to be provided when disability-related accommodation requests are made.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code (Code), employers, unions, housing providers and service providers have a legal duty to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities who are adversely affected by a requirement, rule or standard at work, at school, in housing, or any of the other “social areas” covered by the Code.
The applicant, Ian Cole, is a middle-aged man with a severe intellectual disability who lives in the community. To live in the community, Mr. Cole depends on the receipt of nursing services. The primary source of funding for the nursing services is his local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). The maximum funding for nursing services is set out in a regulation made under the Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994. At the time the application was filed, funding was available for nursing services to a maximum of four visits per day.
September 2016 - The OHRC intervened in Misetich v. Value Village, a case before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO), involving allegations of discrimination on the basis of family status. The OHRC intervened to ensure that the Federal Court of Appeal's decision in Johnstone v.
While the Code specifies that there are only three factors that will be considered when determining whether the test for undue hardship has been met (cost, outside sources of funding and health and safety issues), in some cases, courts and tribunals have recognized that even where these three factors are not at issue, there is not a limitless right to accommodation. There may be other narrow circumstances where it may not be possible to accommodate a person’s disability.
Organizations covered by the Code have a duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship. Some degree of hardship may be expected – it is only if the hardship is “undue” that the accommodation will not need to be provided.
Under the Code, employers and unions, housing providers and service providers have a legal duty to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities who are adversely affected by a requirement, rule or standard. Accommodation is necessary to ensure that people with disabilities have equal opportunities, access and benefits. Employment, housing, services and facilities should be designed inclusively and must be adapted to accommodate the needs of a person with a disability in a way that promotes integration and full participation.
People with disabilities have the right to be free from discrimination when they receive goods or services, or use facilities. “Services” is a broad category and can include privately or publicly owned or operated services.