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Accommodating For Child Care Needs As Family Status

The Federal Court of Canada recently released companion decisions that give some helpful guidance to employers in handling requests for work accommodations for child care. These cases help to highlight the unique and challenging issues employees and employers face in trying to balance employment and family duties and obligations.
Refusal of fixed full time shifts to accommodate child care
In the first case, Canada v. Johnstone 2014 FCA 110 the Federal Court upheld prior decisions that a border services officer had been discriminated against on the basis of family status because her requests for fixed full-time shifts to accommodate her child care needs were refused. Full time employees were assigned rotating irregular shifts, with five days on, three days off. The employer had an unwritten policy that full-time hours would not be provided to employees requesting accommodation on the basis of child-rearing responsibilities. Those sorts of accommodations were provided to employees for ...

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