Seeking Safe Refuge: A Disability Accommodation Story

Seeking Safe Refuge: A Disability Accommodation Story

  • Case
  • Teaching Notes

Axmed, a Somali refugee living in Canada, experiences workplace bullying related to his refugee status. The stress associated with the bullying triggers the onset of symptoms associated with his bipolar disorder and anxiety. Despite assurances that his co-workers will adjust their behaviors going forward, Axmed seeks a disability accommodation. He asks to be moved from the night shift to the day shift to avoid any possibility of future contact with his harassers. This accommodation request interferes with conditions laid out in the collective agreement, which states that assignment to the day shift must be determined by seniority. Managers and union representatives must decide how best to address the situation such that they meet their legal and ethical responsibilities while ensuring a well-functioning workplace.

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