ontario human rights duty to accomodate

What the Ontario Human Rights Commission says about your employer’s “Duty to Accommodate”

When it comes to managing disabilities in the workplace, the Human Rights Code in Ontario requires your employer to make every reasonable effort to accommodate your disability unless the proposed accommodation would create undue hardship for them. This is what’s known as your employer’s duty to accommodate.

The “Duty to Accommodate” is an Individualized Process. Each case is unique.

If you require accommodation for a physical or mental disability, even if it is a temporary condition, you should make your needs known to your employer, provide them with the specifics of the relevant restriction or limitation and support it with medical documentation.

Note:  your employer does not have the right to ask for specific medical diagnoses. 

duty to accommodate ontario toronto disability lawyer bram lecker & assocaites

Duty to Accommodate


What Your Employer Should Consider For Accommodation Options

Your employer should consider all available accommodation options;  here are some examples:

  • flexible work schedules and/or reduced hours
  • modified duties and responsibilities
  • transfers to alternative positions
  • retraining and other assistance
  • modifying work rules or policies
  • ergonomic assessments and modification of the work environment


Often, these accommodations are temporary and de-escalating in nature with the expectation that you will return to your pre-disability job within a prescribed timeframe.

While you cannot insist that a new position be created for you, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has taken the view that an employer should consider permanent, alternative work under certain circumstances.

There is no set formula for accommodating employees with disabilities and each case is considered by its own facts.

If you require workplace accommodation and you believe that your employer has failed to comply with the spirit and intent of the duty to accommodate, you should contact us as soon as possible.

We are experienced Toronto Disability Lawyers, and well versed in negotiating with employers, and providing employees with guidance and support throughout the accommodation process.


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