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Giving Pregnant Worker a Stool Was a Reasonable Accommodation

A worker who manned the front counter of a gym was required to stand while working. She got pregnant and began experiencing pain and swelling in her legs and feet. Her doctor advised against prolonged standing and recommended that she be allowed to sit at least some of the time at work. But when the worker gave her doctor’s note to her manager, he said a stool or chair would get in the way. She filed a disability discrimination complaint. The Human Rights Tribunal rejected the gym’s claim that putting a stool behind the counter posed a safety risk. The gym never investigated whether use of a stool was possible; it just concluded that such use wasn’t safe. It also didn’t discuss other possible accommodations with the worker. Thus, the Tribunal ruled that the gym was guilty of disability discrimination [Purres v. London Athletic Club (South) Inc., [2012] O.H.R.T.D. No. 1735, Sept. 19, 2012].