4. If there is no accommodation, find out the reason

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Human Rights - Discrimination at work
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Tribunals Ontario - Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC)

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4. If there is no accommodation, find out the reason

An employer, landlord, union, or service provider might not have to accommodate you if they can prove that the accommodation will cause them undue hardship. This means looking at:

  • cost
  • outside sources of funding
  • health and safety concerns

It might be undue hardship if the only solution available would cost too much or would cause a serious risk to the health or safety of others.

Employers, landlords, unions, and service providers cannot just say that accommodation would cause undue hardship. They must use evidence to show why accommodation is too expensive, why there is not enough money, or what the health and safety concerns are.

Cost

Whether or not the cost of accommodation is undue hardship might depend on the size of the organization. For example, a good solution for a big employer might be undue hardship for a small employer. Important factors include:

  • Can the cost be recovered in the normal course of business?
  • Can other parts of the business share the cost?
  • Can the cost be phased in?
  • Is there a reserve fund or extra money that can be used?

If the employer, landlord, union, or service provider says that the accommodation is too expensive, they must look for other ways to get funding like grants, subsidies, or loans from government and non-government sources.

Health and safety

Health and safety factors include:

  • Is the risk only to the employee or are others also at risk?
  • Could the accommodation cause serious harm to anyone, and how likely is that to happen?
  • Does the accommodation meet occupational health and safety standards?

Not considered

Here are some examples of factors that are not relevant:  

  • negative responses from employees, tenants, or service users
  • customer preference or other third-party preferences  
  • contracts and collective agreements
  • business inconvenience (unless it would amount to undue hardship because of other factors like cost)
Reviewed: June 11, 2018

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