Toronto, Ontario (PRWEB) July 31, 2014
Nicole Simes of Toronto, Ontario’s MacLeod Law Firm reports that the Ontario Human Rights Commission (“the OHRC”) recently released a new policy on mental health disabilities and addictions. A copy of the policy is found here: http://bit.ly/1qydbor.
According to Simes who advises employees with human rights issues, this new policy recognizes that people with mental health disabilities and addictions “have faced considerable and longstanding discrimination, stigmatization and social exclusion in Canada and across the world".
Simes believes that the new policy is a big step forward for employees suffering from mental health disabilities. In particular, she notes that “at the MacLeod Law Firm we see many employees who suffer from anxiety and depression which affect their work, but they are not comfortable disclosing the disability to their employers. The new OHRC policy highlights that ‘disabilities are often invisible’ and reminds employers of their duty to inquire about the accommodation needs of employees.”
The authoritative manual on mental disabilities used by mental health practitioners is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (“DSM”). Simes notes that the latest version of DSM – The Fifth Edition (or DSM-5) added a number of newly recognized mental disorders including sleep-wake disorder and caffeine withdrawal. Simes believes that the OHRC policy coupled with new mental disorders that have been recognized by the medical profession will result in more legal protections for employees.
“This means that more employees experiencing symptoms such as sleep deprivation affecting their work quality or attendance may have grounds for requesting accommodation from their employers,” states Simes.
With the increase in claims relating to mental disabilities, Simes says that the OHRC’s new policy on mental health will provide employees and their lawyers with guidance and direction when it comes to interpreting employees’ rights under Ontario’s human rights legislation.
Lawyers at the MacLeod Law Firm have represented 1000s of employees over the past 25 years. MacLeod Law Firm's practice includes human rights claims, wrongful dismissal claims, severance package review, employment contract review, employee resignation advice, and advice on workplace health & safety issues.