It's never easy to talk about mental illness –
particularly not with your employer. However, the British Columbia
Human Rights Tribunal recently held that even if it's
uncomfortable, an employee may have the obligation to discuss their
condition with the employer in order to allow the employer to come
up with a proper accommodation.
Last April, in K.B v S.S, 2016 BCHRT 61,
the British-Columbia Human Rights Tribunal found that an
employee failed in his duty to work with his
employer to come to a reasonable accommodation. Finding an
accommodation requires the cooperation of both parties and without
knowledge of the disability, the employer could not be held
responsible for discrimination. The fact that it may have been
emotionally difficult for the employee to share this information
with his employer did not absolve him from that requirement or put
on the onus on the employer to be omniscient.
Written with the assistance of Lucas Rivet-Crothers, summer
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The arbitrator's decision covered a number of issues including whether the termination was appropriate and whether the City had breached the grievor's human rights. The following, however, will focus on the privacy issue raised.
In my December 15, 2016 article, Federal Government's Cannabis Report: What does it mean for employers?, I noted the Report's1 suggestion that there was a lack of research to reliably determine when individuals are impaired by cannabis.
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