FTR Quarterly – 2016, Issue 2
Date: August 2, 2016
In This Issue
- “Bad Customer Service” – or Breach of Human Rights Legislation?
- Lifecycle of a Rental Tenancy: Human Rights Code Considerations and Best Practices for Compliance
- Featured Lawyer – Leanne N. Fisher
- Featured Group – Human Rights
- Did You Know? – AODA Changes to the Customer Service Standards Now in Force
Service-based organizations – such as restaurants – have obligations to their customers under human rights legislation. But how far do these obligations go? Two recent cases help to define the line.
By: Jeffrey A. Patterson and Kathleen Tate
Landlords and rental housing providers must contend with some complex obligations and challenges under the Ontario Human Rights Code. These apply throughout the rental process – from advertising a vacancy, to choosing a tenant, to terminating a tenancy. Adherence to some best practices and guidelines can help ensure compliance at every stage.
AODA Changes to the Customer Service Standards Now in Force
By: Paul E. Broad
Effective July 1, 2016, important changes to the accessibility standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) were implemented.
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service regulation was consolidated into the Integrated Accessibility Standards regulation (which addresses the areas of Information and Communication, Employment, Transportation and Design of Public Spaces).
Changes to the Customer Service standards include:
- expanded customer service training requirements, which must now be provided to all employees and volunteers of a provider
- an expanded list of regulated health professionals who can certify a Service Animal for AODA purposes
- a narrower scope for when a person with a disability can be required to be accompanied by their support person when on an organization’s premises. This requirement is now limited to situations where there is a legitimate health and safety concern if the person is unaccompanied – and where there are no reasonable alternatives available
- revised customer service-specific feedback processes, which must now solicit feedback on the accessibility of the process itself and any alternate means provided for under that process
- a revised definition of “small organizations” for the Customer Service standards, which now means those organizations with one but fewer than 50 employees.
In addition to these changes, key parts of the Integrated Accessibility Standards will begin to apply to small organizations on January 1, 2017, including the requirement to provide accessible formats and communications supports to persons with disabilities, as well as all employment-related requirements. This includes:
- the provision of information regarding the availability of accommodation throughout all recruitment activities
- processes for the development of individualized accommodation plans and return to work for all disability-related absences
- processes around employee support, performance management, career development and enhancement and redeployment.
For details on the changes to the Customer Service standards, see our FTR Now of June 28, 2016, ESA and AODA Changes Employers Should Note.
The articles in this Client Update provide general information and should not be relied on as legal advice or opinion. This publication is copyrighted by Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP and may not be photocopied or reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without the express permission of Hicks Morley Hamilton Stewart Storie LLP. ©