Human rights settlements reached with Ontario Gaming and Lottery Corporation on disability policy



    TORONTO, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has
reached settlements in related complaints against the Ontario Lottery and
Gaming Corporation (OLG) and two of its gaming operations.
    The complaints were filed by employees who alleged managers at Woodbine
Racetrack Slots and Casino Sault Ste. Marie violated Human Rights Code
provisions regarding employer duty to accommodate staff experiencing
disability. The employees alleged that they were required to return to work
before their doctor recommended, return to activities not advised by their
doctor, and produce a doctor's note dated the same date as their absence due
to medical disability.
    The terms of the settlements will help ensure human rights are respected
in the application of corporate disability policies and procedures within all
OLG workplaces. They also clarify that OLG and its gaming operators are
responsible for the actions of third-party disability case management service
providers.
    Commission policy and guidelines on Disability and the Duty to
Accommodate set out that employers should accept all medical documentation in
good faith. Corporate policies relating to disability and medical
documentation must be consistent with the Code.
    Under these settlements, OLG will modify its policies to ensure that a
request for medical documentation dated the same date as an absence is
reasonable in the circumstances, given that an employee may not be physically
able to see a doctor the same day. Corporate and management responsibility for
maintaining confidentiality of medical and related information was also
addressed.

    
    Under the terms of the settlements negotiated by the Commission, OLG has
agreed, within nine months, to:

    -   hire an external consultant to review and update its disability
        accommodation policy
    -   form a new independent review committee with both OLG management and
        staff, and
    -   develop an internal complaint mechanism, which the committee will
        oversee and monitor

    The new policy and complaint process will indicate the types of actions
the OLG would take in dealing with issues of unequal treatment and harassment,
and inform employees of their right to file a complaint under the Human Rights
Code.

    Within a year, OLG has agreed to:

    -   train all OLG staff members and its disability case management
        service provider in the new policy and complaints mechanism, with an
        emphasis on disability and the duty to accommodate, and
    -   focus training on the broad range of disabilities covered by the Code
        and the responsibilities of both OLG and its disability case
        management service provider under the legislation.
    

    "We are pleased to have reached an agreement that will help protect the
rights of nearly 8,000 workers in more than 20 Ontario lottery and gaming
workplaces," said OHRC Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall.
    "Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, everyone has the right to equal
treatment with regard to disability and accommodation," she added. "All
workplaces should ensure that they are properly handling medical issues and
accommodating individuals fairly, whether directly or through a third party
agency that manages such cases. A doctor's note for modified work should be
taken seriously."
    There are approximately 35 additional human rights complaints against OLG
currently filed with the Commission.
    Employment disability cases made up 56% of the Commission caseload last
year, the largest single category of new complaints filed.

    Disponible en français





For further information:

For further information: please refer to the Commission Web site:
www.ohrc.on.ca or contact: Afroze Edwards, Media Relations, Policy & Education
Branch, (416) 314-4528; Jeff Poirier, Manager, Communications, (416) 314-4539


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