On March 15, 2017, Bill 51, An Act to Amend the Human Rights Act, received first reading in the New Brunswick legislature, and second reading the next day. The goal of the changes is to modernize the legislation and increase its efficiency. Indeed, this has been the first extensive review of the legislation in 25 years. These changes come on the 50th anniversary of the Human Rights Act. The ultimate goal of the review was to evolve with society and ensure that values are protected. Bill 51 aims to do just this.
The recent decision of Misetich v. Value Village Stores Inc. reaffirms that family status accommodation under the Human Rights Code is a joint obligation, involving both the employee and employer.
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.
We are signing off with a list of the top 10 most read First Reference Talks posts 2016. Human rights issues and rules for termination notice seem to have been hot topics this year with several blog posts on the topics making it on the list. The top 10 most read First Reference Talks posts […]
The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) released a very important development on family status discrimination, in a case that intersects with disability accommodation law. In Misetich v Value Village Stores, the tribunal reviewed the caselaw, including the Federal Court of Appeal’s Johnstone case, and clarified its test for accommodating family status requests in the workplace.
The three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with: Current and 2017 payroll rates; a case where the Johnstone test is challenged; and an FAQ that addresses Employment Standards Act exemptions, specifically vacation.
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.
A recent Globe and Mail article highlights the fears that new parents face as they contemplate returning to work after a parental leave. It also highlights the issues employers must address when those employees return to work. Since our employer clients often raise questions about post–leave matters, we would like to offer some helpful tips on this issue.
Yes your employees may be legally entitled to time off work to watch their kids, even if they give you no advance notice
Alberta employers should keep this decision in mind when responding to an employee’s last minute request or demand for time off work to deal with childcare obligations, and even other family needs. Arguably, and if the right facts exist, employees could be protected under the Alberta Human Rights Act even if they have made no efforts to seek out alternate child care. The result is that they could be entitled to the short period of time off, in most cases despite the negative impact that their absence will have on the employer’s operations.
At the June 2, 2016, Ontario Employment Law Conference, during the Q&A session, we received numerous questions on topics covered at the conference but could not address them all. From time to time, till the next conference, we will be posting and answering some of these questions on the blog.
In the following case, a breach of human rights legislation was found where the employer refused to allow the employee to have the summer off in order to look after her autistic child.
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.
I previously wrote a post about a Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry Decision which considered whether an employer’s failure to provide top-up benefits to biological parents on parental leave was discriminatory. The Court of Appeal issued its decision on February 10, 2016.
The seminal cases dealing with discrimination based on family status more often than not address the issue of caregiving. In the recent case, Knox-Heldmann v. 1818224 Ontario Limited o/a Country Style Donut, the Tribunal demonstrates that discrimination based on family status is not restricted to caregiving.
Three popular articles this week on HRinfodesk deal with wilful misconduct; family status and eldercare; and, criminal negligence causing death under OHSA.