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Workplace Accommodation Policy

Workplace Accommodation Policy Information

Date Approved: April 28, 2021
Effective Date: May 1, 2021
Date Reviewed: Winter 2021
Replaces: Employment Accommodation Policy 2016

Policy Statement

Cambrian College (“the College”) is committed to maintaining a positive, inclusive workplace and environment where all employees, students, guests, and others are treated with respect and dignity.

The College will act in a manner that is consistent with its obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”), the Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”), and/or any other applicable legislation.

Purpose

To outline the principles, obligations, and standards for the provision of Workplace Accommodation at the College, and to ensure that individuals are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Code and the AODA with respect to accommodation.

Definitions

Accommodation: is the reasonable adjustment of a person’s workplace, responsibilities, schedule, or job assignment to accommodate individual differences by removing disadvantages or barriers which prevent an otherwise qualified individual from performing, or fulfilling, the essential duties of a job based on grounds protected by human rights legislation. A disadvantage may result from a policy, practice, or physical barrier of the work location which has or may have an adverse impact on an individual protected under human rights legislation.

Undue Hardship: The threshold at which reasonable accommodation cannot be provided due to the financial and institutional costs, substantial disruption of operations, the impact on other employees, the health and safety impact, and other relevant factors. The Ontario Human Rights Commission prescribes three considerations in assessing whether an accommodation could cause undue hardship: cost, outside source of funding, and health and safety considerations. Whether an accommodation amounts to undue hardship is assessed on a case-by-case basis, relying on an individualized assessment of current circumstances with respect to a specific accommodation or range of possible accommodations.

Workplace: The College’s main campus, its satellite campuses, or any work site where an employee is assigned to work is the Workplace. While an employee’s home is not normally their Workplace for the purposes of this policy, the College may at its discretion nevertheless choose to extend an Accommodation that was being provided on the College’s property to an employee’s home, for example, during an extended period of mandatory working from home during a declared emergency. In other circumstances, however, working from home will not be a reasonable Accommodation under this policy when most of the workforce is working on College property.

Application/Scope

All full-time, part-time, contract, casual, and temporary College employees and prospective employees.

This Policy applies to all aspects of employment, including but not limited to recruitment, selection, training, promotion, transfers, work arrangements, compensation and benefits and termination of employment.

Policy Statements

  1. General
    1. The College is committed to treating all employees equitably and to accommodating individual differences in employees that are related to human rights protected grounds, including but not limited to grounds such as permanent or temporary disability, religion, and gender identity or expression.
    2. The principles by which the College fulfills its obligations are as follows –
      1. Fairness and Equity: ensuring decisions are made in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, AODA, and other relevant legislation.
      2. Individualization: ensuring the accommodation responds to the specific needs and circumstances of the person while helping to foster a culture and work environment that is supportive.
      3. Inclusion: ensuring that the person being accommodated is involved in the process and plan design.
      4. Partnership and Consultation: involving the employee, administrators of the college, union representatives and any third parties with required specialized expertise (e.g. extended health plan representative, WSIB representative, doctors, religious leaders, etc.), when appropriate, in developing an Accommodation plan.
      5. Shared Responsibility and Accountability: all parties involved in developing an Accommodation (the supervisor, the employee) and other stakeholders (Human Resources, administration, union, other employees) share the responsibility for identifying options and for implementing these options in good faith.
      6. Preference: while preference may be important to individuals, this is not a factor that decides the ultimate Accommodation(s) selected by the College.
      7. Respect for Confidentiality and Personal Dignity: ensuring that storage of and access to records, as well as written and oral communication related to an Accommodation reflect consideration for the privacy and dignity of the person.
      8. Working from Home: while a pandemic or similar emergency can cause the College to direct employees to work from home, working from home in of itself is not a standard Accommodation.
    3. These guiding principles are integrated with the Employment Accommodation Procedures which outline the process to be followed by the College when responding to individual employee requests for Accommodation.
    4. In accordance with section 10(3) of the Code, with respect to past or presumed disabilities, employees have the right to equal treatment without discrimination.
  2. Accommodation Requests
    1. The need for Accommodation can be –
      1. Requested by the employee
      2. Identified by the employee’s supervisor
      3. Requested by a prospective employee
    2. The College will work with the employee requesting accommodation in good faith and expects that the employee will cooperate with the accommodation process, including providing appropriate documentation to substantiate the request for accommodation.
  3. Undue Hardship
    1. The College attempts to accommodate the employment needs of employees up to the point of Undue Hardship.

Responsibilities and Accountability

Associate Vice President, Human Resources and Student Services has the responsibility for

  • Ensuring the availability, review and communication of this policy and its associated procedures;

Director, Human Resources is responsible for

  • Ensuring that all employees and prospective employees are treated with respect and dignity;
  • Dealing with requests for accommodation in a timely, confidential, and sensitive manner;
  • Involving individuals requesting accommodation in the accommodation process;
  • Engaging in open, honest and positive communication about workplace accommodation;
  • Assisting in creating, developing, and implementing workplace accommodation solutions; and
  • Ongoing monitoring of the employee’s accommodation needs and documentation of progress.

Employees or prospective employees are responsible for:

  • Being familiar and complying with the requirements of this Policy;
  • Cooperating with the College in determining and implementing Accommodations and accepting the College’s ultimate responsibility and authority for selecting Accommodations;
  • Assisting in identifying potential accommodation options and solutions;
  • Providing objective and sufficient documentation to support the request for accommodation, including information about restrictions or limitations and/or consent for the College to obtain proper medical information where necessary;
  • Accepting an offer of accommodation that meets their needs, even if it is not their preferred accommodation option;
  • Providing medical updates, if requested by the College; and
  • Maintaining regular contact with the College regarding the accommodation request and plan, including advising the College if the accommodation needs change or are no longer needed.