Originally, reasonable accommodation came from labour law and its strategies for fighting discrimination. Reasonable accommodation is in fact an obligation stemming from the Canadian and Quebec charters of human rights. It was officially incorporated into Canadian law in 1985 by a Supreme Court ruling and quickly affected the freedom of conscience and religion in a secular society.
Reasonable accommodation recommended easing some standards that may create unintended discrimination. Under a duty to accommodate, institutions must adapt or make exceptions to general rules to meet the specific needs of certain individuals or groups to respect their right to equality, as long as no "undue hardship" results for the institution, employer or group that will implement the obligation.
Reasonable accommodation is rooted mainly in conflicts related to religious practices and disability. This concept has been applied in the workplace following the dismissal of employees who were absent from work to attend a religious ceremony.