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childcare obligations

Parental obligations in the workplace

For many of us who are parents, September feels like the real New Year. Workplace issues can arise with respect to shifting childcare obligations, as kids transition from summer schedules to school schedules. Employers may be met with requests to accommodate worker childcare obligations or requests for time off and should be prepared with respect to how to handle these issues both practically and legally.


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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.


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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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Federal Court of Appeal outlines test for discrimination on the basis of child care responsibilities

The Federal Court of Appeal has released two companion decisions in Attorney General of Canada v Fiona Johnston and the Canadian Human Rights Commission 2014 FCA 110 (“Johnston”) and Canadian National Railway v. Denise Seeley and the Canadian Human Rights Commission 2014 FCA 111 (“Seeley”) that confirm that discrimination on the prohibited ground of “family status” includes child care obligations and in elaborating on the appropriate test to be used in order to determine when an employee can establish a prima facie case of discrimination on the basis of family status contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act.


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Workplace flexiblity outside of Silicon Valley

The recently publicized news regarding the ban of telecommuting at Yahoo has ensued in a debate about the benefits of flexible work from home versus the requirement to come into work. However the first thought to cross my mind was that this flexible work arrangement only applies to a very small and privileged sector of employees. For example, working in healthcare, I am very aware of the fact that this debate doesn’t apply to nurses or personal support workers.


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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with EI parental benefits for a twin birth, another federal court ruling on discrimination regarding childcare obligations and how an employer responded to online harassment of management.


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Most-viewed articles this week on HRinfodesk

The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with workplace discrimination due to childcare obligations, terminating a disabled employee on sick leave and the need to have clear written policies on employee conduct and discipline.


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Federal Court clarifies that the prohibited ground of “family status” includes “childcare obligations”

Do employers have to accommodate the “childcare responsibilities” of their employees to the point of undue hardship? The Federal Court has confirmed that in the federal jurisdiction the answer is yes subject to the requirement that the childcare responsibility be a “substantial parental obligation”.


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