Employers must accommodate staff's child-care requests, federal court rules - Macleans.ca

Employers must accommodate staff’s child-care requests, federal court rules


TORONTO – Canada’s federal court has ruled that employers must try to accommodate the family obligations of their staff.

The ruling concerns the case of Fiona Johnston, who worked rotating shifts with the Canada Border Services Agency at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport before having her first child.

Johnston argued the agency refused to accommodate her request for more stable hours, which would have allowed her to arrange for child care.

Her case went before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which found the agency had discriminated against Johnston on grounds of family status.

The federal court ruling by justice Leonard Mandamin upheld the tribunal’s findings.

Mandamin says requests for child-care accommodations stem from legitimate needs and are not simply the result of lifestyle choices.

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Employers must accommodate staff’s child-care requests, federal court rules

  1. Having children is a lifestyle choice…parents need to seriously consider their child care needs and career of choice when considering the choice to be parents…having those who choose to or cannot have children take on less desireable hours is neither fair or equitable…this ruling is basically placing favour of one lifestyle choice over another. And I’d like to know how they are going to monitor this…people will abuse it to the fullest. Many parents will wave the daycare flag when really they have a parent at home or their children are fully grown, just to take advantage of their choice of hours… while the people with grown children or no children pick up the slack. Employers better have an accountability plan in place tout suite…

    I smell trouble…

    • It’s well-settled law that employers have a duty to reasonably accomodate protected categories. Things like disabilities or illness. Oh, and family status. This seems a pretty reasonable interpretation of what family status practially means, and hence a straightforward application of the law. Your post suggests that categories shouldn’t be protected at all, or that family status shouldn’t be a protected category. Feel free to join a political party and suggest that the law be changed. I look forward to the campaign. The “War on Children” has a winning ring to it. Or perhaps “Fire the Lazy Cripples.”

      • Well said

    • You don’t have children, right? Do not judge what you have no idea about.

  2. I was personally. Going through an unexpected and messy separation which in turn I was also not able to be as flexible with my hours as I was now a single parent household. I was forced to step down from my management position to a PT over 20 hrs per week, meaning I was only guaranteed 20 with NO sick time or vacation. It was my only choice. So not only was I going through a messy separation with 2 children and NO financial support, I was also forced to step down and take a lesser pay of a job. We wonder why social assistants rates are so high ! ! ! So much to say………………