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Human Rights Office

ADGA Group

In P.L. v A.D.G.A. Group Consultants Inc Ontario, Ontario Superior Court (Divisional Court) [2008] O.J. No. 3076 (QL), the Ontario Superior Court reminded employers that the duty to accommodate includes two steps:

  1. a process of inquiry (the procedural aspect of the duty to accommodate) and
  2. a finding (the substantive aspect of the duty to accommodate). 

In this case, the employer made a finding before engaging in a fact-finding process.  It discharged an employee with bipolar disorder immediately after he started to exhibit symptoms of mania in the workplace. The employer had heard that mania was a dangerous disorder and felt that safety at the workplace was compromised.  

The employer was ordered to pay $80,000 in damages. The Court found that it had not taken the time to gather information about the disability, but rather had reacted out of fears generated by false stereotypes.