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Meiorin

The duty to accommodate revisited: H.T. v. ES Holdings Inc. o/a Country Herbs

The duty to accommodate presents itself to employers in many forms. While the most common accommodation involves a disability, often there are other grounds for accommodation that an employer must address as illustrated in H.T. v. ES Holdings Inc. o/a Country Herbs.

 

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No procedural duty to accommodate

The Federal Court of Appeal recently ruled in Canada Human Rights Commission v Attorney General of Canada and Bronwyn Cruden, that employers do not have a separate procedural duty to accommodate employees and any procedural inadequacy throughout the accommodation process is not critical where the employer’s actions do not constitute discrimination.

 

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Constructive discrimination: The case of Tawney Meiorin

Constructive or adverse discrimination in employment occurs when rules or standards are established that do not discriminate at first glance, but have an adverse effect on persons whose rights are protected under human rights legislation. In such a case, the burden shifts to the employer to establish that such rules or standards are essential to the job, also known as bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR’s. British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. BCGSEU is the leading case which addresses this issue. This seminal human rights case from the Supreme Court of Canada established a three-part test which has become the standard to evaluate constructive discrimination.

 

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Is the appearance of “youth” a bona fide occupational qualification?

Kimberly Ouwroulis filed a Human Rights complaint alleging discrimination based on her age. The complaint was filed after she was terminated from her job as an exotic dancer at a strip club, allegedly, for being too old. As a highly publicized case, experts quickly asked the question whether or not age, for an exotic dancer, is a BFOQ?

 

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When statutory holidays are also religious holidays

Every year we get comments from subscribers around the Christmas and Good Friday holidays about why Canada still uses these Christian religious holidays as statutory (public) holidays when they are trying to promote an image of multiculturalism. I am anticipating the same comments as Good Friday approaches…

 

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Undue hardship – myth or reality? Learn the latest!

Every employer has experience accommodating employees due to their religion, family needs, health or disability. Accommodation is a necessary practice to manage a workplace today, and it’s the law in Canada, enshrined in the Canadian Human Rights Act and various provincial statutes. But every case of accommodation is different, and interpretations of the law vary.

 

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