Duty to Accommodate

The duty to accommodate refers to the obligation of an employer or service provider to take measures to eliminate disadvantages to employees, prospective employees or clients that result from a rule, practice or physical barrier that has or may have an adverse impact on individuals or groups protected under the Canadian Human Rights Act or identified as a designated group under the Employment Equity Act. In employment, the duty to accommodate means the employer must implement whatever measures necessary to allow its employees to work to the best of their ability. In the provision of services, the provider must implement whatever measures necessary to allow clients to access its services. Unions are also obligated to facilitate the accommodation of the needs of their members by not impeding the reasonable efforts of the employer to accommodate an employee. The duty to accommodate recognizes that true equality means respecting people’s different needs. Needs that must be accommodated could be related to a person’s gender, age, disability, family or marital status, ethnic or cultural origin, religion or any of the other human attributes identified in the two federal acts.

Excerpt taken from the Government of Canada’s “Canadian Human Rights Commission” website 

History of Duty to Accommodate

This page explores the history of Duty to Accommodate, and how it became an important part of human rights legislation.

Establishing a Prima Facie Case of Discrimination

This document describes the process of establishing a Prima Facie case, one of the first steps in establishing a bona fide case of discrimination.

Proving a Bona Fide Occupational Requirement

Once a prima facie case is established, the employer may defend the discriminatory standard by proving that it is a bona fide occupational requirement.

Duty to Inquire

Find out how the Duty to Inquire is triggered, and when the Duty to Inquire MAY NOT come into play.

Discrimination of the Basis of Disability

This page describes the different categories of currently recognized disabilities with reference to specific cases throughout history.

Educational Implications of recent Supreme Court ruling

The following article discusses the Moore case at length, and summarizes the key points that are expressed in the document, focusing on the rulings effect on learning disabilities.

An Examination of the Duty to Accommodate in the Canadian Human Rights Context

This article is from the Library of Parliment, and it offers a comprehensive discussion of Duty to Accommodate, in many different contexts, as well as discussing related court cases which have contributed to our current understanding of Duty to Accommodate in Canada.

Duty to Accommodate: A General Process for Managers

The following is meant to serve as a general guide for employees and businesses to better understand the process of implementing accommodations in the work place.
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Lessons in ‘Duty to Accommodate’ for Employers

This article was taken from the business advice section of the Kelly Santini Law website. The article offers a quick overview of the Moore case, then applies the ruling to a business context, offering a quick introduction to how Duty to Accommodate might function in the workplace.

Meiorin Case

The Meiorin Case is the Supreme Court of Canada case that created a unified test to determine if a violation of human rights legislation can be justified as a bona fide occupational requirement.

The Moore Decision-Meaningful Access Including Range of Placements

This article looks at the history of Duty to Accommodate, and how the new ruling will affect the school system.

The Scope of the Duty to Accommodate

This article explores who, when and where the Duty to Accommodate may be triggered.

1. Under section 4 (1)(b) of the NB Human Rights Code, employment-related discrimination on the basis of the following characteristics, known as the "prohibited heads of discrimination", or sometimes the "protected human rights characteristics, is illegal:


•race/colour/national origin/ancestry/place of origin;

•religion;

•age;

•physical disability;

•mental disability;

•sexual orientation;

•sex;

•social condition;

•political belief or activity

•physical disability;

•mental disability;

•martial status;




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©Conni Kilfoil, Equality Representative, Canadian Union of Public Employees -ckilfoil@cupe.ca

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