You might be finding it difficult to recover from the injuries especially as it might have caused short-term or long-term disability. The uncertainty of whether you will be able to go back to work or the job will be terminated, in case the disability is permanent, can be stressing.
However, you may not be aware of the fact that when you are differently abled, there is disability law that protects your rights. As per the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and Ontario Human Rights Code, disability includes a number of factors that ranges from personal injuries to birth defect and are categorized as physical and mental disabilities. The law includes chronic pain, back pain, epilepsy and chronic fatigue among other ailments as “non-evident disabilities” as these are not obvious but can be debilitating for the person suffering with it.
Under the Disability Law, Charter of Rights and Freedom’s Section 15 states that all individuals are considered equal. Laws and protection have to be rendered without discriminating on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, mental or physical disability, sex and age. However, the “Duty to Accommodate” comes into the picture when the implementation of rights has to be done.
Under Ontario Human Rights Code, the Section 17 deals with ‘Duty to Accommodate’. This is governed by the fact that irrespective of a government or commercial establishments needs to remove barriers, as they can be an obstacle for a disabled individual from completing their work or accessing their services. This is pertinent in offices where a disabled individual needs to complete their work without any hassles. Some of these have been listed as:
- Having wheelchair ramps
- Automatic doors installations
- Flexible work hours so the individual can take adequate rest
- Job restructuring so the disabled individual can fit into the new role without any demotion
- Cannot fire the employee for becoming disabled.
- Access to Braille signs, sign language translators
However, to cover the businesses from ‘undue hardships’ wherein the cost of employing a disabled individual is high and working with him/her can disrupts the workplace, is recognized by law. However, this is only considered in extreme situations because it is expected that businesses will make the changes to accommodate the changing requirements of the disabled employee.
You have the right to file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, if your rights have been discriminated or violated. Your complaint will be brought through mediation and if that does not work out, a hearing is held and binding orders issues. It is important that the complaint be filed within 1 year after the discriminatory incident took place. Hiring a personal injury lawyer specializing in disability law can help you get proper justice. They understand how overwhelming a disability can be and the fear of adjusting to a new way of life. And if you face discrimination for no-fault of yours it can be debilitating for your confidence. That is why there are provincial and federal laws protecting your rights and helping you get justice.