The Implications of the Social Model of Disablement for the Legal Regulation of the Modern Workplace in Canada and the United States
40 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 8, 2009
In this article, I explore the implications of the social model of disablement for the legal regulation of the modern workplace in Canada and the United States. The social model emphasizes how structural and attitudinal barriers in society marginalize people with disabilities. Comparative analysis enables scholars to perceive strengths and weaknesses that might not otherwise be apparent. I argue for the plasticity of legal rules and the arbitrary distinctions often made between a public and private sphere, which offer hope for social transformation, through some historical examples. I then examine how specific areas of legal doctrine disempower workers before analyzing how workers with disabilities have been affected by the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Meiorin. I conclude with a discussion of reasonable accommodation before setting out two major implications of the social model of disablement: substantive conceptual and physical control over day to day production decisions and systemic disability supports across the lifespan of the worker.
Keywords: disability rights, comparative law
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