It is important for managers to be aware of what may be necessary or prudent when providing workplace accommodations. There is a legal duty to offer reasonable accommodation when an employee is suffering from a disability. Even when the law is not engaged, reasonably accommodating staff can provide opportunities for maximizing productivity. Knowing the opportunities and limitations will allow managers to be as effective as possible with all employees.
In this series of videos below John is faced with a decision. He will be given two options. Depending on which one he chooses, his day will take a turn.
Watch the videos in sequence. Some of the videos have questions to answer after watching them. Where there are videos for two possibilities, watch both, and then answer the questions after watching the second one. Your answers to questions may trigger brief additional videos.
Mark is stressed out and can't deal with it anymore. What does John do?
See what happens if John gives Mark a quick pep talk about his importance to the team.
See what happens if John first gets advice from his mentor - and a bit more to think about.
John takes Rebecca's advice and talks with Mark. What are the results?
Read Rebecca's email to John with details on workplace accommodation.
This website is brought to you by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace.
Watch the video below to see why.
This question could be considered a violation of privacy and may not even be relevant to his success at work.
Question 1 of 2
The legal duty requires employers to take reasonable steps, to the point of undue hardship, to accommodate an employee with a disability.
Swapping tasks that a worker with a disability is unable to do, with other tasks that they can do can usually be done with undue hardship.
The law allows for an employee with a disability to sometimes accept a reasonable amount of risk to their own health and safety in order to continue working with a disability.
This could be considered undue hardship if the risk was probable and significant.
While many accommodations for mental health disabilities are low in cost, the maximum cost would depend on the resources of the employer.
Question 2 of 2
While having conversations with others about workplace issues is part of managing, if it focuses on the personal characteristics of a single individual it may be unethical at best and could cross over to violation of human rights.
While this may not get at the root cause of the problem, it opens up a conversation so that solutions can be explored or supports put in place.
This type of approach can cause the employee to feel judged or attacked. It is not unusual for people to become defensive or hostile when they feel judged or attacked.
While in some cases, the situation may resolve itself in time, ignoring the problem also allows it to continue to develop to the point of crisis. For the sake of the employee, the co-workers, and the organization, early intervention in a supportive manner can be a more effective strategy.