Draft Letter for Accommodation
Draft Language for Letter of Understanding re: Accommodation Policy and Procedure
(based on OHRC, but can be changed for other jurisdictions)
1. Statement of Commitment
XYZ Organization is committed to providing an environment that is inclusive and that is free of barriers based on age, race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), sexual orientation, record of offences, marital status, family status, and disability. XYZ Organization commits to provide accommodation for needs related to the grounds of the Ontario Human Rights Code, unless to do so would cause undue hardship, as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission's Policy on Disability and the Duty to Accommodate.
Accommodation will be provided in accordance with the principles of dignity, individualization, and inclusion. XYZ Organization will work cooperatively, and in a spirit of respect, with all partners in the accommodation process.
In recognition of the role of the Union in representation of its membership, a Joint Committee, such as a Joint Human Rights Committee or a Joint Health and Safety Committee will be maintained either as a standing committee, or, in appropriate situations, an ad hoc committee. In any event, it is recognized that the process of accommodation will include Union representation and consultation.
2. Objectives of the Policy and Procedure
The purpose of this Accommodation Policy and Procedure is to:
- Ensure that all members of the organization are aware of their rights and responsibilities under the Ontario Human Rights Code with respect to accommodation;
- Set out in writing the organization's procedures for accommodation and the responsibilities of each of the parties to the accommodation process;
- Recognize the United Steelworkers (the Union) as
3. Application of the Policy and Procedure
This Policy and Procedure applies to all employees, including full-time, part-time, temporary, casual and contract staff, as well as those who work to gain experience or for benefits, such as volunteers, co-op students, interns and apprentices. It also applies to individuals who are applying for employment with the organization.
This Policy and Procedure applies to all stages and to all aspects of the employment relationship, including recruitment and selection, promotions and transfers, and conditions of work such as hours of work and leaves of absence, in relation to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
This Policy and Procedure applies to all organization locations covered under the CBA.
All new and existing employees under the CBA will be provided with a copy of this Accommodation Policy and Procedure.
4. Requests for Accommodation
Requests for accommodation can be made:
- To the employee's manager by the employee; or
- By the Union in representation of its membership; or
- Through the Joint Committee
The accommodation request, whether by an individual employee, through his or her Union, or through the Joint Committee should indicate:
- The Code ground with respect to which accommodation is being requested;
- The reason why accommodation is required, including enough information to confirm the existence of a need for accommodation; and
- The specific needs related to the Code ground.
Accommodation requests should, whenever possible, be made in writing. Where this is not possible, XYZ Organization will render the request to writing, confirm with the individual that the request is accurate, and provide the employee and the Union a copy of the request for accommodation.
All accommodation requests will be taken seriously. No person will be penalized for making an accommodation request.
5. Provision of Information
The Human Resources Manager may require further information related to the accommodation request in the following circumstances:
- Where the accommodation request does not clearly indicate a need related to a Code ground;
- Where further information related to the employee's limitations or restrictions is required in order to determine an appropriate accommodation;
- Where there is a demonstrable objective reason to question the legitimacy of the person's request for accommodation.
- Where expert assistance is necessary in order to identify accommodation needs or potential solutions, the employee requesting accommondation is required to cooperate in obtaining that expert advice. Any costs associated with obtaining such expert advice will be borne by XYZ Organization, including lost time, travel and related expenses.
In circumstances where further information is required of employees seeking accommodation, both the employee and the Union will be notified in writing:
- Of the reason for further information;
- Of types of further information required, including forms and documentation; and
- Of relevant resources and/or referrals to determine the necessary information.
Failure to such requests for information may delay the provision of accommodation.
The Human Resources Department will maintain information related to:
- The accommodation request;
- Any documentation provided by the employee requesting accommodation or by experts;
- Notes from any meetings;
- Any accommodation alternatives explored; and
- Any accommodations provided
6. Privacy and Confidentiality
The organization will maintain the confidentiality of information related to an accommodation request, and will only disclose this information with the consent of the employee or applicant.
7. Accommodation Planning
In recognition of 3. Application of the Policy and Procedure, accommodation planning will be jointly undertaken with an appropriate Union Committee. The Manager, the person requesting accommodation, and, where appropriate, the Human Resources Manager, any necessary experts and the Joint Committee will work together cooperatively to develop an Accommodation Plan for the individual.
Accommodation requests will be dealt with promptly. Where necessary, interim accommodation will be provided while long-term solutions are developed.
The Accommodation Plan, when agreed on, will be put in writing, and signed by the individual requesting accommodation.
An Accommodation Plan may include the following:
- A statement of the accommodation seeker's relevant limitations and needs, including any necessary assessments and information from experts or specialists, bearing in mind the need to maintain the confidentiality of medical reports;
- Arrangements for necessary assessments by experts or professionals;
- Identification of the most appropriate accommodation short of undue hardship;
- A statement of annual goals, and specific steps to be taken to meet them;
- Clear timelines for the provision of identified accommodations;
- Criteria for determining the success of the accommodation plan, together with a mechanism for review and re-assessment of the accommodation plan as necessary; and
- An accountability mechanism.
8. Appropriate Accommodations
The aim of accommodation is to remove barriers and ensure equality. Accommodations will be developed on an individualized basis. Appropriate accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- Work station adjustments
- Job redesign
- Modifications to organizational policies and practices
- Technical aids
- Human support
- Provision of materials in alternative formats
- Building modifications
- Counselling and referral services
- Temporary or permanent alternative work
- Modification of performance standards
- Leaves of absence
- Changes to scheduling or hours of work
- Changes to work uniforms
9. Monitoring Accommodations
XYZ Organization, through its Human Resources Department will consult with The Joint Committee and the person receiving accommodation to monitor the success of the Accommodation Plan. Together, they will promptly address any deficiencies or any relevant changes in the workplace or the employee's needs.
10. Undue Hardship
Accommodation will be provided to the point of undue hardship as defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission's Policy and Guidelines on Disability and the Duty to Accommodate. A determination regarding undue hardship will be based on an assessment of costs, outside sources of funding, and health and safety. It will be based on objective evidence.
A determination that an accommodation will create undue hardship may only be made by the Chief Administrative Officer of XYZ Organization, subject to the CBA.
Where a determination is made that an accommodation would create undue hardship, the person requesting accommodation will be given written notice, including the reason for the decision and the objective evidence relied upon. The accommodation seeker shall be informed of his or her recourse under XYZ Organization's Anti Discrimination Policy and Procedure, his or her rights under the CBA, and, under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
Where a determination has been made that an accommodation would cause undue hardship, XYZ Organization, in consultation with the Joint Committee, will proceed to implement the next best accommodation short of undue hardship, and will phase in the requested accommodation.