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Queen's University

Toronto Police Association

In Toronto Police Association v Toronto Police Service, Ontario Grievance Arbitration (2008) O.L.A.A. No. 226 (QL), an arbitrator stated that every employer has the right to be skeptical about requests for accommodation.  This does not, however, give it permission to drag its heels when discharging its duty to accommodate. In this case, the Toronto Police Service did not believe one of its officers who claimed to have developed a rare hearing disorder requiring accommodation. Memos revealed the opinion that he was simply "a very lazy individual who tries to avoid doing work".  Although the employer did, eventually, accommodate the employee, it took an excessive amount of time (230 months) getting around to it. The Arbitrator said: "Unfortunately, this scenario is not unusual for rare forms of disability that are difficult to verify objectively. Through a combination of unfamiliarity with the diagnosis, skepticism about the legitimacy of the disability, there was foot dragging and even resistance on the employer's part -  moving the grievor's file forward to find suitable accommodation".

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000