On January 31st, 2013 a Federal Court judge affirmed a 2010 ruling of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that said that employers have a duty to accommodate “childcare obligations” as a component of their duty to accommodate an employee’s “family status.” The facts of the case have left many Canadians, both employees and employers, asking questions about what the decision means for them.
The case was decided by the Honourable Mr. Justice Leonard Mandamin. Justice Mandamin’s reasons for his decision can be found at 2013 FC 113, and the 2010 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision can be found at 2010 CHRT 20.
As a brief summary of the facts, Ms. Johnstone worked for the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) as a customs agent at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, as did her husband. The evidence was that CBSA employees worked varying and rotating shifts.
In January 2003, following the birth of her first child, Ms. Johnstone requested accommodation. Specifically, she requested she continue in full-time employment with a fixed daytime shift schedule that coincided with childcare available to her. She renewed this request in December 2005 after the birth of her second child.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from
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