Employers should be aware of their duty to accommodate employees

posted on January 29, 2021

January 18, 2021

By Norm Streu and Christopher Hirst, Business in Vancouver

Work on construction sites is often physically demanding and frequently poses a risk of injury. In this demanding and potentially dangerous environment, what are the obligations of construction employers to accommodate the physical, mental, religious or cultural circumstances of their employees?

The law imposes on all employers a duty to accommodate employees, meaning the employer must take reasonable steps to accommodate the employee when the employee has suffered or will suffer discrimination from a working rule or condition.

Courts have held that the goal of this duty is achieved by preventing the exclusion of individuals from employment opportunities that are not based on their actual abilities, but on attributed ones.

If an employee is otherwise fit for work, he or she cannot be unfairly excluded where working conditions can be adjusted without undue hardship on the employer.

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