- Family Obligations
- The first approach requires that a workplace standard must interfere with an employee's ability to fulfill a substantial family obligation in a realistic way
- The second approach requires that a workplace standard must interfere with an employee's ability to fulfill a substantial family obligation in a serious way
- Listen to the employee's request or allegations
- Consider the employee’s efforts to address the alleged interference with family obligations
- Consider the impact and hardship on the business if the employee's requests are granted
- Consider whether the employee's requests are simply preferences or are actual needs
- Document all steps taken to address the employee's requests or allegations
This is not to say that all such requests for accommodation must be granted. However, an employer who meaningfully considers an employee's requests and who makes a bona fide attempt to determine and communicate to its employee why accommodation is or is not possible is more likely to establish that it has met its duty to accommodate.
- Drug and Alcohol Testing
Another rapidly evolving area of the law is the limits on drug and alcohol testing in the workplace. Employers who implement lawful drug and alcohol policies should consider the interaction between drug and alcohol testing and employee human rights. Since drug or alcohol addiction is a disability, it is afforded protection under human rights legislation. As such, adverse treatment or termination of employees with a drug or alcohol addiction will attract human rights scrutiny. Employers who do test employees for drugs and alcohol must therefore ensure that they have programs or policies in place to discharge their duty to accommodate employees suffering from drug or alcohol addiction.