Workplace accommodation and audit-based evaluation process for compliance with the Employment Equity Act: inclusionary practices that exclude—an institutional ethnography
Matt kept the operable window in his office open all the time because he needed unlimited access to fresh air. This was terminated after a Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system was installed in his Government of Canada office building. After Matt’s access to fresh air became mechanically controlled through extra-locally developed air quality standards, the workplace became a barrier for him. Matt was deemed to suffer from a disability known as environmental sensitivity because he became ill every time he spent more than 45 minutes inside his office building. Yet, according to a textually-mediated assessment of Matt’s workplace performed by a Compliance Review Officer from the Canadian Human Rights Commission, his workplace was barrier-free. Using Dorothy E. Smith’s institutional ethnography, this paper explicates how the social organization of workplace accommodation and compliance—processes that were developed to promote inclusion—are exclusionary.
workplace accommodation, compliance; Employment Equity Act; institutional ethnography; disability; environmental sensitivity