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Addressing Challenges: Kathleen O’Brien and Stephen Torscher’s Present on Mental Disability Accommodations

February 14, 2024

Kathleen and Stephen - presentation

On February 13, 2024, Stephen Torscher and Kathleen O’Brien presented to CPHR’s Annual Employment Law Conference on “Accommodating Mental Disabilities: Challenges and Obligations”. Their presentation focused on the unique challenges that arise when accommodation is requested for a mental disability. The discussion included a refresher for employers on their obligations in this context, including legislative and common law obligations. Attendees were reminded that there is an obligation for employers under Occupational Health and Safety legislation to provide and ensure a safe and healthy workplace, including a reminder on requirements for workplace violence policies and the importance of policies for bullying and harassment in the workplace. The presentation involved a discussion on the meaning of undue hardship and how an employer can determine if they have reached that point. The session also included a discussion of the employer and employee duties in the accommodation process, including the duty to inquire and the duty to cooperate.

Accommodations for mental disabilities, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, pose unique challenges for both employers and employees, including but not limited to: coverage disputes between worker’s compensation bodies and insurers, availability of medical information, and the uncertainty about timelines for a return to work.

Carbert Waite Employment Lawyers Can Help With Accommodation Requestions Challenges

If you are an employee or employer facing challenges with accommodation requests, worker’s compensation claims, or occupational health and safety issues, Stephen, Kathleen, or any of Carbert Waite’s Employment Lawyers are happy to help.