Perfection Not the Proper Standard for Accommodation

|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 02/05/2011

Seeking the same workplace accommodation arranged for her previous pregnancy, a paramedic grieved after being informed by her employer that the 12-hour, rotating shift she applied for in the Logistics department would no longer be available.

Some of the work performed by Emergency Supply Technicians in the Logistics section of the municipality’s Technical Services Department was suitable for accommodated work assignments for workers with medical restrictions. And, beginning in 2005, it was common for workers on modified assignments to work either eight- or 8.4-hour, day shift assignments in Logistics, refitting and reconditioning the equipment and bags in ambulances. In some cases, 12-hour shifts were available.

Accommodated during her pregnancy in 2006, paramedic M.B. stayed on her 12-hour rotating shift schedule and took an assignment in Logistics. M.B. sought the same accommodation when she became pregnant in 2008. However, while the 12-hour, rotating shift was desirable for M.B. because it paid a shift premium and because it allowed her to more easily co-ordinate childcare needs with her partner — who also worked a 12-hour rotating shift — the municipality had eliminated the 12-hour shift in Logistics.