Case studies: Mental disability

Area: Employment
Ground: Mental disability
Result: Resolved voluntarily at the investigation stage

A man claimed he was terminated from his job while on medical leave due to stress-related mental illness.  The man stated that he had asked to be accommodated on a graduated return to work, but his employer refused to accommodate his request.

Conciliation was not successful so the complaint was investigated.  Investigation revealed that the complaint had merit.  While it was determined that the employer could easily have filled the complainant's position on a temporary basis, the employer chose to replace the complainant early in his absence without informing him.  It was recommended that the complainant be compensated for the period of time that he required to find new permanent employment and for the expenses he incurred during his job search.  The respondent made an offer to settle, which the complainant accepted.  The complainant received $12,000 as a settlement.

Area: Employment
Ground: Mental disability
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation

A man alleged discrimination in the area of employment on the ground of mental disability.  He was hospitalized for a mental illness and, though his employer had accommodated him initially, after a few months he was terminated.

Conciliation was held and the parties reached a settlement.  The employer agreed to attend an education session on the provisions of the Alberta Human Rights Act and, in addition, to make a donation of less than $5,000 to a charity chosen by the complainant.  The complainant agreed to this settlement.

Area: Services
Ground: Mental disability
Result: Resolved voluntarily through conciliation
A woman filed a complaint against a post-secondary educational institution, alleging that she had been discriminated against because of a mental disability.  She had a learning disability that affected her ability to read and write accurately.  She could not successfully complete a course because of her disability, and her graduation was dependent upon successful completion of this course.

When starting her education at this institution, the complainant was unaware that she had a learning disability.  It was diagnosed after her instructors discovered her poor reading and writing abilities.  Therefore, the complainant had not informed the institution of her disability nor of her need for accommodation for her disability.

Once the disability was diagnosed, the institution accommodated her by providing her with an extended period of time to overcome her learning disability and to successfully complete the course.  The complaint was successfully conciliated, and the file was closed.

For more information on discrimination based on mental disability,  please see the information sheet  Mental or physical disabilities and discrimination.

Revised: March 24, 2010

 


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