MacEwan Residence Services - A Risky Accommodation?
(5 pages of text)
In November 2014, the Residence Services department at MacEwan University in Alberta, Canada, needed to replace a residence assistant who was exiting midway through the academic year. The new hire would have one semester of work for the current academic year and, with good performance, was expected to return for two semesters of work in the following academic year. One of the qualified applicants had a distinguishable disability: she used a wheelchair. On the one hand, it would be easier for Residence Services to not hire her because of the various potential risks, concerns, or expected difficulties that could arise with her employment. The primary concern was her ability to respond effectively to emergency situations. A secondary concern was the impact on operational efficiency and the need to adapt work and staff routines to accommodate the use of a wheelchair. On the other hand, it was not legal to discriminate against the candidate for employment, and Residence Services valued inclusive hiring practices. The decision to hire or not hire this candidate needed to be made very soon.
This case is intended for undergraduate students studying introductory human resource management, diversity, or ethics and values topics. After completion of this case, students will be able to do the following:
- Observe personal values and biases, and recognize the influence these may have on personnel selection decisions.
- Identify, categorize, and assess risks or problems that relate to the hiring decision.
- Determine the applicability of bona fide occupational requirements to the hiring decision.
- Support a staffing decision based on legal, ethical, and/or social (policy) grounds.
Accommodation & Food Services
Canada, Large, 2014
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