Not Discrimination to Make Worker Shave Beard before Using Respirator

A scaffolding worker claimed he was the victim of discrimination citing, among other things, his employer’s demand that he shave his beard before using the tight-fitting respirator he had to wear while handling hazardous solvents. The Alberta Human Rights Commission concluded that the requirement was a valid safety measure that the employer applied to all workers using tight-fitting respirators requiring a clean shave to create an effective seal. Moreover, the employer did accommodate the worker by removing tasks requiring use of the respirator from his job duties [Kaynak v Milestone Scaffolding Ltd., 2021 AHRC 169 (CanLII), September 15, 2021].