My Workplace Accommodation Request Has Been Denied? Now What?!

My Workplace Accommodation Request Has Been Denied? Now What?!

Employees may face situations where they require workplace accommodations due to circumstances like illness, family emergencies, or religious observances. Whether an employee seeks an adjustment in their work environment or needs time off to manage personal matters, there are instances when employers may decline these requests or struggle to find suitable solutions. When an employee’s accommodation request is denied, it can lead to stress and hinder productivity. All employees need to be aware that they have options to secure the necessary changes to continue their work.

What Am I Entitled To If My Accommodation Request Is Declined By My Employer?

Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, all provincially regulated employees in Ontario are entitled to accommodations for grounds related to the Human Rights Code, such as race, gender identity, gender expression, disability, age, and family status. If an employee requires a change in their work due to one of these grounds or similar reasons, they have the right to seek accommodation from their employer, provided it doesn’t result in undue hardship.

Most jobs in Ontario fall under provincially regulated industries. However, some employers are subject to federal laws, covered by the Canadian Human Rights Act. These industries include banking, air transportation, Federal Crown Corporations, and interprovincial road and rail transportation. Federally regulated employees enjoy similar protections as those under the Ontario Human Rights Code, but if they need to address human rights issues, they should approach the Canadian Human Rights Commission rather than the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.

Some employees may also require accommodations due to workplace injuries, as governed by the Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Act. These employees would have previously applied to the Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) for compensation or benefits following a workplace injury.

Once these employees recover sufficiently to return to work, they are entitled to accommodations from their employers, provided it doesn’t result in undue hardship. These employees also have the option to address any refusals to accommodate through the WSIB.

Struggling with Workplace Accommodations or Requests?

Ensuring you receive the necessary workplace accommodations can sometimes be a difficult process, whether it’s due to a lack of understanding, miscommunication, or reluctance from employers. If you’re facing obstacles in requesting or implementing accommodations that support your ability to work effectively, know that you’re not alone. Achkar Law specializes in employment law, including the rights to fair workplace accommodations. We can help you navigate these challenges, advocating for your rights and working towards a resolution that respects your needs and maintains your dignity at work.

How Does Undue Hardship Affect Me?

Both federal and provincial human rights laws acknowledge that employers aren’t obligated to provide accommodations if it would cause undue hardship to the employer. In assessing undue hardship, the courts consider various factors, including cost, safety, the employee’s position, and the impact on the workplace. While accommodations must be feasible, they don’t need to be impossible to meet the threshold of undue hardship for the employer.

What Should I Do When My Accommodation Request Is Denied?

All employees have a role in the accommodation process, which involves providing sufficient information to enable employers to evaluate possible accommodations. When an employer rejects a reasonable accommodation request, it can be beneficial to submit additional documents from impartial third parties to support your accommodation needs. Examples of such documents include:

  • Medical notes from your physician.
  • Functional abilities forms with input from your physician.
  • Letters from your religious officials regarding any religious observance.
  • Written evidence from third parties regarding family status or childcare needs.

In general, the accommodation process entails a constructive exchange between the employer and employee. Both parties should offer reasonable suggestions regarding what can and cannot be done to ensure the employee’s human rights are upheld without fundamentally disrupting the workplace. Employees should maintain copies of the documents they provide to their employer and document the employer’s response to legitimate requests.

If providing supporting documents still doesn’t lead to the necessary accommodations, it’s often advisable to seek competent legal counsel to advocate on your behalf. Possible resolutions may include applying to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal or Canadian Human Rights Commission for damages or an appropriate accommodation. Employees should be ready to provide the supporting documents to their legal representative to build the strongest possible case. In many cases, employers are willing to reach a practical resolution rather than proceeding with tribunal litigation.

Facing Human Rights Challenges? Achkar Law Can Help

In the realm of work and daily life, upholding human rights is fundamental. Whether you’re experiencing discrimination, issues with workplace accommodations, or other human rights challenges, it’s essential to have knowledgeable support by your side. Achkar Law stands as a beacon for those seeking justice and fair treatment under the law. Our team of dedicated human rights lawyers is committed to protecting your rights and ensuring you’re treated with the respect and dignity you deserve.

With Achkar Law, you’re not just getting legal assistance; you’re gaining partners who are deeply committed to human rights advocacy. Our approach is tailored to meet your specific needs, providing clear, actionable advice to navigate complex legal landscapes. From initial consultations to representation in legal proceedings, we’re with you every step of the way.

Don’t let human rights violations go unchallenged. Contact Achkar Law today for a consultation with our human rights lawyers. Together, we’ll work towards a resolution that honors your rights and seeks the justice you’re entitled to.

Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at [email protected].

Struggling with Workplace Accommodations or Requests?

Ensuring you receive the necessary workplace accommodations can sometimes be a difficult process, whether it’s due to a lack of understanding, miscommunication, or reluctance from employers. If you’re facing obstacles in requesting or implementing accommodations that support your ability to work effectively, know that you’re not alone. Achkar Law specializes in employment law, including the rights to fair workplace accommodations. We can help you navigate these challenges, advocating for your rights and working towards a resolution that respects your needs and maintains your dignity at work.

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