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Family Status Accommodation

Family status accommodation: How to respond to requests

Because of changes in demographics and other reasons, employees are increasingly asking for changed work schedules or time off work to care for children and elderly parents (i.e. family status accommodation). Depending on the size of the business and the employee’s duties these requests can create real problems. As a result, employers often ask whether a request for changed hours or time off work must be accommodated. The legal landscape has been shifting in this area for a number of years. This blog discusses the applicable legislation and some recent case law.

 

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Family status quo for British Columbia

For now, it appears the Campbell River decision is sufficient for the Tribunal’s purposes to address complaints of discrimination in family status in British Columbia. However, as we posted previously, employers would be well-advised to consider the Johnstone test when examining employees’ accommodation requests on the basis of family status.

 

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Workplace accommodation has limits

In Pourasadi v Bentley Leathers Inc., the Human Rights Tribunal found that accommodating a store manager by permitting the employee not to assist customers was not required, since assisting customers was an essential duty of her position.

 

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Family status protection for infrequent and unexpected childcare obligations #learnthelatest

A recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision confirms that family status protection may require employers to accommodate employees’ sporadic or unexpected absences to fulfill childcare obligations.

 

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Superior Court applies the “Johnstone test” for family status discrimination in wrongful dismissal action

We have written before on the decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in Johnstone v Canada (Border Services), which helpfully crafted a clear and balanced test for family status discrimination in the context of childcare (the “Johnstone test”). The Ontario Superior Court has released the first reported decision in Ontario to apply the “Johnstone test” in the context of a wrongful dismissal action.

 

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The top 10 employment law stories of 2014

Here is a list of 10 cases that changed the employment law landscape in 2014.

 

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Family status accommodation: an infographic

Now that the summer is over and the new school year has arrived, employers may be hearing a little (or a lot) more about employees’ family scheduling problems and requests for accommodation.

 

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Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk

Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with a new mental health disabilities policy from the Ontario Human Rights Commissions; the Canadian Human Rights Commission guide on accommodating family status; and employer-subsidized personal training and nutritionist services.

 

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Is an employer’s duty to accommodate becoming too much?

After a recent Federal Court of Appeal ruling, employers are now faced with the responsibility of accommodating employee requests relating to childcare – providing it does not cause the employer undue hardship. This is the first time a ruling seems to clarify what employers’ obligations are when it comes to accommodation based on family status under human rights legislation. But is this too much for employers?

 

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Have you heard? Our annual Ontario Employment Law Conference is next week

2014 Ontario Employment Law Conference

You’ve probably already heard about the Ontario Employment Law Conference coming up on June 10—that’s next Tuesday!—but have you registered yet?

 

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Learn the latest! — Family status accommodation

2014 Ontario Employment Law Conference

In most jurisdictions in Canada, human rights legislation prohibits discrimination on the basis of “family status.” Until recently, few cases were brought alleging discrimination under this branch. However, recent decisions across several jurisdictions have made it clear that employers must be attentive to this ground of discrimination or risk exposing themselves to significant liability.

 

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Register for the 15th Ontario Annual Employment Law Conference

2014 Ontario Employment Law Conference

The 15th Annual Ontario Employment Law Conference, is taking place June 10, 2014, at the Mississauga Convention Centre. This event is hosted by First Reference, with presentations by the lawyers at Stringer LLP experts in the areas of employment and labour law.

 

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