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Employment Law Breakfast Seminar – Navigating Disability Accommodation in the Workplace

March 18, 2024

Breakfast Seminar image

On March 13, 2024, Joe Oppenheim and Prince Aboh presented at Carbert Waite LLP’s Employment Law Breakfast Seminar on “Navigating Disability Accommodation in the Workplace.” They reviewed the legal framework around the employer’s duty to accommodate temporary and permanent disabilities.

The presentation touched upon several commonplace issues that may trigger the duty to accommodate, including:

Frustration and Absenteeism: They discussed the Doctrine of Frustration, which allows for contract termination when unforeseen events render performance impossible or significantly altered. They also considered how employers handle absenteeism, particularly among employees with disabilities.

Cannabis at the Workplace: The complexities of accommodating medicinal cannabis use among employees were discussed, with an emphasis on the employer’s duty to accommodate to the limits of undue hardship.

Return-to-Work Challenges: They also examined the hurdles faced when employees return to work following a disability-related absence. Issues considered included privacy concerns, medical information adequacy, and the role of independent medical examinations for such accommodation.

The key takeaway was the need to create an inclusive and supportive work environment that considers the roles and obligations of all parties within an organization’s policy framework.