Employer fails to accommodate forklift operator

Requested accommodaiton imposed undue hardship: Arbitrator
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 05/04/2015

An arbitrator has found Winners Merchants to be in breach of its duty to accommodate Prakash Sandhu. However, arbitrator James Hayes also found that the outcome would not have been much different if that obligation had been satisfied.

Sandhu’s union — the Workers United Canada Council Local 152 — filed a grievance on her behalf after the employer denied her request for transfer to a forklift position on a preferred day shift.

At the time of Sandhu’s request, she was employed as a forklift driver on modified duties on the midnight shift in one of the company’s Ontario locations. As part of her accommodation, Sandhu operates only one of four types of forklifts. Additionally, Sandhu needs assistance when required to move individual boxes before continuing her work with the forklift.