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duty to accommodate

4. The duty to accommodate

From: Policy and guidelines on disability and the duty to accommodate

4.1 General principles

4.1.1 Respect for dignity

The duty to accommodate persons with disabilities means accommodation must be provided in a manner that most respects the dignity of the person, if to do so does not create undue hardship.[19] Dignity includes consideration of how accommodation is provided and the individual’s own participation in the process.

5. Undue hardship

From: Policy and guidelines on disability and the duty to accommodate

The Code sets out only three considerations. This means that no other considerations, other than those that can be brought into those three standards, can be properly considered under Ontario law. There have been cases that have included such other factors as employee morale or conflict with a collective agreement. However, the Ontario legislature has seen fit to enact a higher standard by specifically limiting undue hardship to three particular components.

Duty to accommodate

From: Policy on drug and alcohol testing

Section 17(2)

Section 17(2) provides that an employee shall not be found incapable of performing the essential duties of a job unless it would cause undue hardship to accommodate the individual employee's needs, taking into account the cost of the accommodation and health and safety concerns.

Sections 17(1) and 17(2) provide a two-stage test for the validity of a workplace drug and alcohol testing policy.

Where driving is an essential duty of a job

From: Policy on requiring a driver's licence as a condition of employment

For positions where driving is an essential duty of the job, a question relating to whether or not an applicant is licensed to drive, and/or the type of vehicle the applicant is licensed to drive, would be appropriate. The legitimate needs of the employer and the concerns of the applicant might be served by including the following statement on an application form or in a job advertisement:

This position requires the successful candidate to have a valid driver's licence. The successful candidate would have to provide proof that s/he has a valid driver's licence upon being hired.

Relevant sections of the Code

From: Policy on HIV/AIDS-related discrimination

HIV/AIDS as a disability (section 10)

The OHRC recognizes that AIDS and other HIV-related medical conditions are disabilities under the Code. "Disability" is defined under section (s.) 10 of the Code. All persons infected with HIV or with HIV-related illness, or who are believed to have the virus, including those who are asymptomatic, are fully protected against discrimination in services (s. 1); housing (s. 2); contracts (s. 3); employment (s. 5); and membership in trade unions (s. 6).

Introduction

From: Policy on height and weight requirements

The Code states that it is public policy in Ontario to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of every person and to provide for equal rights and opportunities without discrimination. The provisions of the Code are aimed at creating a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person so that each person feels a part of the community and feels able to contribute to the community.

The duty to accommodate

From: Policy on creed and the accommodation of religious observances

The Code provides the right to be free from discrimination, and there is a general corresponding duty to protect the right: the ”duty to accommodate.” The duty arises when a person's religious beliefs conflict with a requirement, qualification or practice. The Code imposes a duty to accommodate based on the needs of the group of which the person making the request is a member. Accommodation may modify a rule or make an exception to all or part of it for the person requesting accommodation.

Disability and human rights (brochure)

2011 - The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) provides for equal rights and opportunities, and freedom from discrimination. The Code recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario. It applies to the areas of employment, housing, facilities and services, contracts, and membership in unions, trade or professional associations. At work, employees with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities and benefits as people without disabilities. In some cases, they may need special arrangements or “accommodations” so they can do their job duties.

Re: OHCHR Thematic study on participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life

October 2011 - In recent months, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has been examining the issue of accessible elections for both voters and candidates with disabilities. That is why we were pleased to learn the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has initiated a study on participation in political and public life in accordance with Article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This update on our related activities serves as our submission to your study.

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