Ontario Human Rights Proceedings: Duty to Accommodate

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal(“OHRT”) will sometimes have cases raising duty to accommodate matters. The OHRT recognizes the duty to accommodate as being a co-operative and collaborative process. All parties to the accommodation process have obligations. The applicant, who is seeking accommodation must provide sufficient information to allow the respondent(s) to understand the nature of the disability. The duty to accommodate would require, at the least, the party seeking accommodation to act in a reasonable and cooperative manner.

The failure by a respondent to take the appropriate steps in the procedural duty to accommodate is a violation of a right under Part 1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code. It is up to the party who has the duty to accommodate to determine how the individual can be accommodated. While the complainant may be in a position to make suggestions, the employer, for ex., is in the best position to determine how the complainant can be accommodated without undue interference in the operation of the employer’s business. The complainant can’t expect a perfect solution.

It is apparent from the comments above that clear communication flowing from both sides is important in the efforts to successfully accommodate and invest in the relationship at hand going forward.*

William Poulos, Barrister
* This blog is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you require legal advice a lawyer should be consulted to advise on the specific circumstances of your case.

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