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Queen's University

Kerr v. Boehringer

In Kerr v Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. B.C. Human Rights Tribunal (2009), an employee with a visual disability was awarded $30,000 in damages when her employer was found responsible for discrimination. The employee, who had a visual disability,  had been on LTD but wanted to return to work. She engaged the CNIB and the insurance company in a rehabilitation process and asked the employer to create a "return-to-work" plan for her.  The employer dragged its heels coming up with a back-to-work program and before long the employee found herself with neither salary nor LTD benefits.  The employer's excuse? It did not have enough medical information to act on and besides, it was relying on the third parties (the CNIB and the LTD insurer) to come up with an accommodation plan.  The Tribunal ruled that is was up to the employer to ask for up-to-date medical information and to come up with its own accommodation plan.  Although outside parties like the insurance company and the CNIB can play a role in the accommodation process, "the primary responsibility lies with the employer to find and propose a solution that would accommodate [the employee]."  

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