Seeking a Workplace Accommodation

What is a Work­place Accommodation?

A work­place accom­mo­da­tion is the mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the envi­ron­ment, a rule, or prac­tice with­in the work­place. An accom­mo­da­tion can be either per­ma­nent or tem­po­rary. Exam­ples of accom­mo­da­tions may include mod­i­fi­ca­tion to job duties, work sched­ule, or pro­vid­ing tech­no­log­i­cal aids. Mem­bers should con­sid­er seek­ing an accom­mo­da­tion if they are fac­ing bar­ri­ers or chal­lenges in the work­place. URFA is avail­able to sup­port you through­out the entire accom­mo­da­tion process, from gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion and work­ing with you and the employ­er to col­lec­tive­ly and coop­er­a­tive­ly iden­ti­fy an appro­pri­ate method of accom­mo­da­tion and fol­low up for any need­ed adjust­ments or changes.

What is the Duty to Accommodate?

The employ­er and URFA have a legal duty to make rea­son­able changes to your work­ing envi­ron­ment if you encounter bar­ri­ers or chal­lenges in the work­place. Remov­ing bar­ri­ers or chal­lenges becomes a legal duty if a fail­ure to remove them could lead to dis­crim­i­na­tion. This is called the duty to accom­mo­date. All employ­ers have the duty to accom­mo­date unless they can demon­strate that the accom­mo­da­tion would cre­ate an undue hard­ship for the employer.

What is Undue Hardship?

Under the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, employ­ers have the duty to accom­mo­date up to the point that an accom­mo­da­tion would cre­ate undue hard­ship. An undue hard­ship could include a large finan­cial cost or con­sid­er­able dis­rup­tion in the work­place as well as health and safe­ty con­sid­er­a­tions. How­ev­er, there is a high thresh­old for employ­ers to meet their duty to accom­mo­date, and some hard­ship for employ­ers to achieve accom­mo­da­tion is implied in most cases.

When should I seek a Work­place Accommodation?

You should con­sid­er seek­ing an accom­mo­da­tion if you are fac­ing bar­ri­ers or chal­lenges in your work­place due to reli­gion, creed, mar­i­tal sta­tus, fam­i­ly sta­tus (includ­ing a par­ent-child rela­tion­ship), sex (includ­ing preg­nan­cy), sex­u­al ori­en­ta­tion, dis­abil­i­ty (includ­ing addic­tions, or men­tal and phys­i­cal health chal­lenges), age (18 or more), colour, ances­try, nation­al­i­ty, place of ori­gin, race or per­ceived race, receipt of pub­lic assis­tance, and gen­der iden­ti­ty. These are known as the pro­hib­it­ed grounds” of dis­crim­i­na­tion as iden­ti­fied under the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.

If you are unsure whether or not you should con­sid­er seek­ing an accom­mo­da­tion, please con­tact URFA. A Mem­ber Ser­vices Offi­cer will guide you through the steps involved and will assist you through­out the accom­mo­da­tion process in a respect­ful and con­fi­den­tial manner.

What can URFA do to help me with request­ing a Work­place Accommodation?

Assis­tance from URFA can be as sim­ple as pro­vid­ing infor­ma­tion on the accom­mo­da­tion process, or as involved as act­ing as your rep­re­sen­ta­tive with Human Resources. Any assis­tance from URFA is always kept confidential.

URFA can help with:

  • Pro­vid­ing con­fi­den­tial advice regard­ing your rights and respon­si­bil­i­ties under leg­is­la­tion and uni­ver­si­ty policies.
  • Advis­ing and pro­vid­ing resources to assist you through­out the accom­mo­da­tion process includ­ing act­ing as your rep­re­sen­ta­tive when so directed.
  • Accom­pa­ny­ing and sup­port­ing you in meetings.

URFA will always main­tain your con­fi­den­tial­i­ty and does not take any action with­out your explic­it direc­tion. You will be involved through­out the entire process and URFA will not make any deci­sions on your behalf with­out your consent.

Who do I speak with about a Work­place Accommodation?

Before com­mu­ni­cat­ing your need for an accom­mo­da­tion to the employ­er, you are encour­aged to first speak with an URFA Mem­ber Ser­vices Offi­cer, who will go over the process with you, and explain your rights, includ­ing your right to pri­va­cy with­in the work­place accom­mo­da­tion process. You or your URFA rep­re­sen­ta­tive must then com­mu­ni­cate your need for an accom­mo­da­tion to the employer.

Con­tact URFA by phone at 3065854378, or by email at urfa@​uregina.​ca.

What Does an Accom­mo­da­tion Plan look like?

An accom­mo­da­tion plan will vary depend­ing on your needs. Exam­ples of accom­mo­da­tions may include mod­i­fi­ca­tion to job duties and work sched­ule, changes to the work envi­ron­ment, or pro­vid­ing tech­no­log­i­cal aids. Once imple­ment­ed, accom­mo­da­tion plans should be reviewed peri­od­i­cal­ly in order to deter­mine whether any adjust­ments or changes are nec­es­sary. URFA is avail­able to help and sup­port you through­out the entire accom­mo­da­tion process, from gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion and work­ing with you and the employ­er to devel­op an accom­mo­da­tion plan, to imple­men­ta­tion of the plan and any future need­ed adjust­ments or changes.

What are the Uni­ver­si­ty Pol­i­cy and Procedures?

Work­place Accom­mo­da­tion poli­cies and pro­ce­dures are avail­able online.

Uni­ver­si­ty of Regi­na, Cam­pi­on and Luther:

First Nations Uni­ver­si­ty of Canada: 

Please note that while these poli­cies are spe­cif­ic to accom­mo­dat­ing employ­ees with med­ical dis­abil­i­ties, the Employer’s duty to accom­mo­date applies to all of the pro­hib­it­ed grounds” of dis­crim­i­na­tion as iden­ti­fied in the Saskatchewan Human Rights code. If you have any ques­tions, please con­tact an URFA Mem­ber Ser­vices Officer.

What is the rel­e­vant Legislation?

The Duty to Accom­mo­date is cov­ered under the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code. More infor­ma­tion on the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code and the duty to accom­mo­date can be found online.

Still have questions?

Con­tact URFA and a Mem­ber Ser­vices Offi­cer will be assigned to answer any ques­tions you may have.