Lost in Translation?: The Disability Perspective in Honda v. Keays and Hydro-Quebec v. Syndicat

Faculty Author Type

In Memoriam [Judith Mosoff]

Published In

McGill Journal of Law and Health

Document Type


Publication Date



Human Rights; Employees; Disabilities; Mental Health Law


Two recent decisions from the Supreme Court of Canada, Honda Canada Inc. v. Keays and Hydro-Québec v. Syndicat des employé-e-s de techniques professionnelles et de bureau d’Hydro-Québec raise concerns about the extent of human rights protections for employees with disabilities. In this comment the author argues that when disabilities do not fit neatly into a standard medical framework such as the conditions of chronic fatigue syndrome or mental illness, there is a tendency to disbelieve the employee, not take the individual seriously, or set out special regimes for confirmation. With a focus on the employment contract rather than discrimination, the author argues that an analysis of human rights obligations was virtually absent in the employment law context. In the labour law context, the Court gave no real guidance about the meaning of undue hardship. The author suggests that these cases do not reflect the broad vision of an inclusive workplace previously set out in Meiorin.