Did the employer do enough to accommodate an employee whose back injury left him incapable of performing the physically strenuous duties of a paramedic? The BC Human Rights Tribunal said yes. The sides worked together with WorkSafeBC to implement a graduated return to work program, but it was unsuccessful. Since he couldn’t go back to his old job, the employer offered him 7 other positions but he turned them down because they didn’t enable him to use his paramedic skills. And the jobs he said he would accept as “meaningful” weren’t a match for those skills. While the duty to accommodate may include bundling roles to create a new position, that wasn’t a realistic option in this case, the Tribunal concluded. Result: The employer reached the point of undue hardship and could cut ties with the paramedic [Lawlor v. PHSA and another, 2019 BCHRT 186 (CanLII), September 3, 2019].
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