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Accommodating workplace injuries

The employer informed the CSST that it could not offer Caron another suitable or available position at its establishment.

Caron’s union objected to the employer’s decision not to find another suitable position for Caron and filed the objection with the Commission des lésions professionnelles (CLP).

Since the employer had no other suitable job and terminated Caron’s employment, it was too late for Caron to be reinstated and the CLP had no power to reinstate Caron. The union applied for judicial review of the decision to the Superior Court of Quebec.

The question to be decided was whether the administrative decision of the CLP was consistent with the duty to accommodate a disability under the Charter and subject to the reasonableness standard: did the CLP’s decision balance the right protected by the Charter and the objectives sought under the AIAOD?

The judge added that the CLP made an unreasonable decision by expressing the opinion that there is no legal basis in the AIAOD to require the employer to modify an existing job to make it suitable for the purposes of Article 239 of the AIAOD.

The CLP was to apply the Charter reasonably and follow the approach imposed by the courts to determine whether the employer had discriminated against the employee based on disability and breached his right to return to work in a suitable position due to a violation of the Charter.

The Superior Court ruled that the CLP decision was unreasonable because it was not the result of a proportionate balancing of Caron’s fundamental right protected by the Charter with the objectives of the AIAOD.

The Accommodation and Food Services sector comprises establishments providing customers with lodging and/or preparing meals, snacks, and beverages for immediate consumption.In short, where an employee injury qualifies as a disability, the employer’s efforts to return the employee to work under the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases are not sufficient to satisfy the employer’s obligation to accommodate a disability under the Charter.Alain Caron was employed as a teacher at the Miriam Centre, a home for persons with intellectual disabilities.The employer confirmed its interest in maintaining Caron’s employment permanently in his temporary assignment.However, that temporary assignment ended up being abolished later that year.While most data are obtained from employer or establishment surveys, information on industry unemployment comes from a national survey of households.The following tables present an overview of the industry including the number of jobs, the unemployment rate of those previously employed in the industry, job openings and labor turnover, union membership and representation, data for occupations common to the industry, and projections of occupational employment change.A recent Quebec Court of Appeal decision will make it more onerous for employers to meet their duty to accommodate in the context of a workplace injury.The Court of Appeal found that an employer must seek suitable employment for an employee returning to work from an injury, offer reasonable accommodation to the employee to the point of undue hardship, and conduct an assessment to ensure the accommodation complies with the provisions of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.The union argued that Caron’s injury amounted to a disability protected from discrimination under section 10 of the Charter and the employer failed in its duty to accommodate Caron to the point of undue hardship by not enabling his return to work in a suitable position.The Miriam Centre argued that the only standard of review in this case is that of reasonableness and the CLP already decided that Caron was unable to perform his pre-injury job.

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