Duty to Accommodate Guide

There is a positive obligation on employers to identify and remove barriers in the workplace

People with disabilities face many kinds of barriers on a daily basis. These can be physical, attitudinal or systemic.

There is a positive obligation on employers to identify and remove barriers in the workplace.

The duty to accommodate requires employers to proactively identify and eliminate rules, policies, practices and standards that have a discriminatory impact. Accommodation means reviewing and revising the rule, policy, practice or standard to incorporate alternative arrangements that eliminate discriminatory barriers.

As well, the employers are required to accommodate individual requests by doing the following:

  • explore options for removing those barriers that might affect the person
  • requesting accommodation, and provide reasonable accommodation to the point of undue hardship.

Steps for Accommodation

  1. Inform the employer and union representatives of the need for accommodation (on the basis of disability, family status, religion, race, sex, gender identity, etc.).

  2. Provide necessary information related to the accommodation requirement as requested by the employer (i.e. medical restrictions and limitations).

  3. Discuss accommodation options with employer and union representatives and develop a written accommodation plan.

  4. Implement accommodation plan

  5. Review and revise accommodation plan as necessary.

Note that each accommodation case is unique and must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

These steps are a general guide only and may need to be adapted.

The following are some common questions and answers on the Duty to Accommodate. If you have questions that are not answered  here, contact your Local or Component for further information.  

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November 15, 2013
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