Addiction and disability are the two most prevalent reasons that an accommodation is requested and/or needed. A finding that an impairing condition amounts to a disability or handicap is the legal precondition to assessing the duty to accommodate. The impairment may be temporary, long lasting, or permanent.
Addictions include gambling, drugs and alcohol. The purpose of accommodation in the case of drug and/or alcohol addiction is to rehabilitate the employee back into the workplace.
Disabilities include stress/mental health, medical condition(s) and physical injuries. Both mental and physical disabilities are subject to the need for an accommodation.
Article 23 of our collective agreement gives the employer the right to request a medical certificate or report as proof of a nurse’s fitness to return to work. The actual diagnosis is not needed, only sufficient information as to the type of restrictions which exist as they relate to the nurse’s specific job functions.