After a testy conversation with an employee about her absence and tardiness due to an alleged medical condition, the employer finds itself defending a human rights case of failing to accommodate the employee's medical condition. The employer discovers that it has a "duty to accommodate" the employee's medical condition to the point of "undue hardship".
Accommodation requires establishing the needs and capabilities of the affected employee and then considering the range of possible accommodation, short of undue hardship, available to the employer. If the employee seeks accommodation for medical reasons, sufficient medical disclosure should be provided to allow the employer to assess the employee's condition. The Supreme Court of Canada in Renaud v. Okanagan School District (1992) said the employee "must do his or her part as well," which may mean accepting the employer's reasonable plan of accommodation.
Most accommodations are a minor inconvenience or expense for the employer. Undue hardship is reached when the accommodation becomes unreasonably onerous or excessive, such as major financial expense or business disruption. Justice Sopinka in Renaud wrote: "the term 'undue' infers some hardship is acceptable; it is only "undue" hardship that satisfies this test."