The Supreme Court has just handed down a ruling eagerly awaited by the labour movement, reaffirming the employer’s duty to accommodate in CNESST v. Caron.
Canada’s highest court upheld the ruling by the Quebec Court of Appeal to the effect that the Charter, and specifically, the duty to accommodate, is in fact applicable to workers with an employment injury, and that recourse is available under the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases.
In practical terms, the Court upheld employers’ duty to accommodate workers with an employment injury and reiterated the duties of the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) and the Administrative Labour Tribunal (ALT) in this regard.
Consequently, during the rehabilitation process, the employer is required to make genuine efforts to accommodate such workers. The CNESST and ALT are required to determine whether the employer has genuinely accommodated the workers in question.
Our role will be to ensure employers’ compliance with this process.