Accomodating cultural diversity

The “duty to accommodate” flows from courts’ interpretation of Human Rights legislation.

This book is the second of a two-volume set in which specialists on ethnic issues explore policy alternatives that contribute to the alleviation of ethnic conflict and the accommodation of cultural diversity.In this case, the employer’s process for accommodating such employees by providing them access to other jobs (even if those jobs were preferred positions) satisfied its duty to accommodate.An employers’ obligations are significant and require managers to clearly demonstrate their attempts to accommodate the employee.For example, is it legitimate to require a Sikh employee to wear a hardhat for safety reasons, when such a request may violate his religious beliefs?For example, in British Columbia Maritime Employers Assn. International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 500 (Dhillon Grievance), the arbitrator found that the employer was not required to allow employees to work in positions without a hard hat where one was required by policy.While most of these differences present themselves without difficulty, occasionally, workplace rules or managerial perceptions can restrict the ability of certain employees to perform job tasks.In these situations, an employer may be faced with a duty to accommodate those employees.An employee is not entitled to the “perfect” or even her first choice of accommodation.The solution must work for both the employee and the employer.If employees are adversely affected because of a proscribed ground, an employer must seek to “accommodate” those employees to the point of undue hardship.There are often competing and valid interests when the duty to accommodate is engaged.

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