News release

Yuille v. the Nova Scotia Health Authority, Board of Inquiry Decision

An independent human rights board of inquiry has ruled that the Nova Scotia Health Authority discriminated against Melanie Yuille when it revoked her conditional job offer to work as a registered nurse at the Dartmouth General Hospital.

Ms. Yuille was unable work night shifts and change her shift rotation every few days for medical reasons.

Under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against people based on their disability. Employers must try to reasonably accommodate the disabilities of new and existing staff in the workplace provided that it does not create a significant hardship on the employer’s operations.

Based on the facts of the case, it was determined that reasonably accommodating Ms. Yuille’s disability would not be a hardship for the Nova Scotia Health Authority. It had provided accommodation for the disabilities of existing employees, but not for new hires.

Shift scheduling is common in many clinical nursing units and the board ruled that the authority’s discrimination was not intentional.

The board chair ordered that the authority hire Ms. Yuille and that both parties continue to ensure there is reasonable accommodation for her disability that does not pose any hardship to the organization.

Ms. Yuille made her complaint in May 2015 and board of inquiry chair Eric Slone issued his decision on March 17, 2017. To read the full decision, please visit: humanrights.novascotia.ca.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

An independent human rights board of inquiry has ruled that the Nova Scotia Health Authority discriminated against registered nurse Melanie Yuille.

The authority revoked her conditional job offer when Ms. Yuille was unable to work night shifts and change her shift rotation every few days due to her disability.

The board chair ordered that the authority hire Ms. Yuille and that both parties work together to ensure there is reasonable accommodation for her disability.

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Adria May
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