Accommodation for Environmental Sensitivities

Author(s): Cara Wilkie, David Baker
Date: May 2007
Publisher: Canadian Human Rights Commission

Environmental sensitivities are a group of poorly understood medical conditions that cause people to react adversely to environmental triggers. The Canadian Human Rights Commission commissioned this report, in which the researchers seek to establish the status of the issues related to environmental sensitivities from a legal perspective and as these relate to the protection of human rights. The researchers examined case law, consulted experts and examined secondary sources on accommodation of people with environmental sensitivities in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, in order to answer several questions in the Canadian context: What is the status of the case law in these jurisdictions? Do building codes act as barriers to people with environmental sensitivities? What best practices emerge from the case law? How are conflicting interests reconciled? How can third parties be involved in the accommodation process? Where is the threshold of undue hardship? How are conflicts regarding accommodation preferences resolved?

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