recent bulletin, we notified non-profit and private employers
with 50 or more employees in Ontario of their obligations under the
Employment Standard to the Accessibility for Ontarians with
Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA), which took effect on January 1,
2016. Amongst these changes is a specific requirement to
notify new employees of accommodation policies in all job
The Employment Standard aims to make accessibility a regular part
of human resources practices, including during the recruitment,
selection and hiring processes. With the New Year deadline in the
not so distant past, employers who have yet to incorporate the new
accessibility requirements into their recruitment, selection, and
hiring processes should do so immediately.
As of January 1, 2016, non-profits and private sector companies
with 50 or more employees have the following obligations during the
recruitment, selection and hiring processes under the AODA:
Recruitment: Notify job applicants that the
employer has an accommodation policy and that the employer will
provide accommodation to job applicants with disabilities during
the hiring process. Employers should consider including a statement
to this effect in all job postings and on their websites. Employers
can also notify job applicants directly by email, in-person, or by
Selection: When you invite a job applicant to
participate in the selection process or to attend an interview,
notify the candidate that accommodation for job applicants with
disabilities during the assessment process is available upon
request. If a job applicant requests accommodation, consult with
the job applicant on how to best meet their individual
Hiring: In all offers of employment, employers
must include a notice about its policies for accommodating
employees with disabilities.
Ontario non-profits and private sector companies with 1-49
employees are allowed an extra year, until January 1, 2017, to meet
the above-stated requirements. Different deadlines (which
have already passed) apply to public sector organizations in
Ontario (government agencies, hospitals, municipalities, colleges
and universities). All public and private sector organizations in
Ontario that have not yet incorporated the new accessibility
requirements into their recruitment, selection, and hiring
processes should do so immediately. In particular, all employers in
Ontario should review their standard form offer letters and make
any amendments necessary to comply with the new AODA
Contact McMillan LLP's Labour and Employment lawyers for
advice related to the implementation of these requirements and
other requirements pursuant to the AODA.
The foregoing provides only an overview and does not
constitute legal advice. Readers are cautioned against making any
decisions based on this material alone. Rather, specific legal
advice should be obtained.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
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