Accommodation of Employees

Procedure Number: 
001
Policy Number: 
2309
Responsibility: 
President
Approved: 
Vice President, Academic
Effective: 
April 9, 2014
Review: 
April 9, 2015
Procedure Statement: 

A. Guiding Principles for Accommodation Procedures and Processes

1.  The BC Human Rights Code recognizes that all persons are equal in dignity, rights and responsibilities, regardless of ancestry, place of origin, race, colour, age, sex, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, sexual orientation, religion, political belief and criminal convictions unrelated to the employment.

2.  Accommodation seeks to eliminate barriers, standards, requirements, practices, policies and rules that adversely affect people on the basis of one or more of the above listed grounds.

3.  Requests for accommodations may arise during the recruitment process, at the time of job offer or hire or during the period of employment.

  • Medical accommodations will be considered where employment-related barriers are created by a physical or mental disability. An employee or prospective employee who wishes to be considered for a disability-related accommodation (the “Applicant”), must provide JIBC with suitable medical information which establishes the existence of a disability and supports the requirement for accommodation. The medical information required by JIBC will depend on the individual circumstances. It may include, without limitation, information regarding the general nature of the disability, the prognosis, the impact of the disability on the Applicant’s ability to perform the functions of the job or otherwise meet JIBC’s requirements, the severity and projected duration of any restrictions or limitations, the dates of examination, the Applicant’s compliance with the recommended course of treatment, the identification of any prescribed medications that may affect the Applicant’s ability to work safely, etc. The medical information must outline the specific job accommodations which are required because of the Applicant’s disability.
  • Non-medical accommodations will be considered where employment-related barriers are created by a non-disability characteristic protected by BC’s Human Rights Code. An Applicant who wishes to be considered for a non-medical accommodation will be required to provide documentation and information to JIBC to support the Applicant’s need for the accommodation. The information required by JIBC will depend on the individual circumstances.

4.  Accommodation and its processes must respect an Applicant’s right to privacy and confidentiality.

5.  Successful accommodations rely on collaboration and cooperation between the Applicant, the designated supervisor(s), the bargaining agent (as applicable) and Human Resources. All parties will be expected to assist reasonably in the search for an appropriate accommodation.

6.  JIBC is not able to accommodate an Applicant if the accommodation would cause JIBC undue hardship. The existence of undue hardship will depend on the individual circumstances. Relevant factors to consider may include:

  • whether there is a risk to the safety of others or a substantial risk of personal injury to the Applicant;
  • the financial cost of the accommodation;
  • whether accommodation alternatives would result in lowering performance standards or result in substantive job requirements being unmet;
  • whether the accommodation would be unduly disruptive to a collective agreement or other terms and conditions of employment, or have a significant adverse impact on the rights or morale of other employees; etc.

7.  An Applicant who requests accommodation must be able to perform the essential requirements of the job he/she occupies, wishes to be hired into, or is transferred into. If the accommodation involves a transfer to a different classification, the Applicant will be paid the wage rate for that classification.

8.  The duty to accommodate does not require JIBC to satisfy demands that are unreasonable, create a job where none exists, displace another employee, assign an Applicant duties that are not of tangible benefit to JIBC, or place an Applicant in a job she/he is not qualified for or cannot perform safely or productively.

9.  Requests for accommodation will be based on individual circumstances and may include but will not be limited to such measures as job redesign, workplace modification, changes in hours of work, employment policy or practice modifications, the provision of technical aids or job transfer to a suitable job vacancy for which the employee is qualified.

10.  Requests for accommodation will be denied by JIBC where one or more of the following is present:

  • the request is not linked to a characteristic protected by BC’s Human Rights Code;
  • there is insufficient evidence to support the request;
  • the Applicant has failed to cooperate in the accommodation process, or has refused a reasonable accommodation proposed by JIBC; or
  • the requested accommodation would cause JIBC undue hardship.

11.  Any technical aids, adaptive equipment, furniture or other property purchased for an accommodation is the property of JIBC.

B.  Roles and Responsibilities in the Accommodation Process

JIBC: Complies with the Human Rights Code and all other relevant legislation including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Departments/Administrative Units: Identifies and provides reasonable, meaningful and productive job adaptations or accommodations that facilitate the workplace accommodation process. Ensures that employees follow safe work practices.

Union: Advocates on behalf of bargaining unit members requesting accommodation, cooperates in searching for and implementing reasonable accommodations, and complies with the Human Rights Code and all other relevant legislation.

Case Coordinator: Employed by Manulife. Acts as a resource for all parties if an employee is experiencing disability-related issues requiring accommodation. Gathers and interprets relevant medical information.  Coordinates with all stakeholders involved in the planning, implementation and monitoring of safe and timely returns to work. Encourages appropriate accommodation as medically recommended. Monitors progress. Responsible for ensuring privacy and security of medical information.

Applicant: Provides documentation to support need for accommodation. Cooperates in searching for and implementing reasonable accommodations, and complies with the Human Rights Code and all other relevant legislation. Where applicable, participates in treatment as prescribed by his or her medical specialist. When absent, communicates regularly with his/her supervisor and the Case Coordinator.

C.  Accommodation Procedure and Process

1.  An employee or prospective employee who wishes to be considered for an accommodation (the “Applicant”) must notify the Human Resources Department of his/her request in writing, and provide the appropriate documentation that supports the need for accommodation. In some circumstances, JIBC may initiate an accommodation discussion with an employee.

2.  If a medical accommodation is sought, JIBC will inform the Applicant of the medical information it requires. To facilitate this process, JIBC may provide the Applicant with a form for completion by the Applicant’s physician.

3.  The Applicant is responsible for any cost associated with providing the required medical or other written information in support of the accommodation request.

4.  Where JIBC requires an independent medical evaluation, JIBC will pay the cost of that evaluation.

5.  Additional supporting/expert documentation may be required to verify the need for accommodation. This information when sent directly to JIBC should be limited to facts relevant to identifying the appropriate accommodation. Medical reports will be treated as strictly confidential and only shared on a need-to-know basis, with consent.

6.  Human Resources will assess the accommodation request based on a review of the relevant information, and will determine whether a duty to accommodate exists.

7.  If Human Resources determines that a duty to accommodate does not exist or that the accommodation would create undue hardship, it will advise the Applicant in writing and provide reasons for this determination.

8.  If Human Resources determines that a duty to accommodate exists it will advise the applicable supervisor(s) of the request for accommodation, and discuss potential options for accommodation.

9.  Human Resources will consult with the Applicant, the applicable supervisor(s) and any applicable bargaining agent, with a view to identifying a reasonable accommodation.

10.  Human Resources will document each stage in the accommodation process.

11.  When an employee with a medically documented disability is unable to perform job duties because of a disability and requires accommodation, JIBC will make every reasonable effort up to the point of undue hardship to accommodate the employee in her or his current job.

12.  If it is not possible to accommodate the employee in his or her current job, every reasonable effort to the point of undue hardship will be made to place that employee in a suitable vacant position for which the employee is qualified, within the same department.

13.  If it is not possible to accommodate the employee within his or her own department, every reasonable effort be made to place the employee in a suitable vacant position for which the employee is qualified, elsewhere in JIBC.

14.  If the Applicant’s abilities, needs, or the conditions of her or his job change, the Applicant or her/his supervisor should notify Human Resources as soon as possible. Human Resources will then obtain the necessary information to determine whether or not the existing accommodation should be modified, discontinued or replaced.

15.  JIBC, through the Human Resources Department, will annually assess and evaluate the effectiveness and implementation of this Policy and the related Procedures.

16.  Schools/Divisions/Departments are expected to provide early notice to the Human Resources Department of significant issues arising from the implementation of this Policy and/or the related Procedures.

Last updated August 4, 2015