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Discrimination

"Anti-Bullying Legislation"

Robyn Durling of the BC Human Rights Coalition prepared a paper on, "Anti-Bullying Legislation", for the Human Rights Conference (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia) in November 2010.

"Recent Developments in Employment Law: Family Status Discrimination"

Brian D. Mulroney, a lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais, wrote a paper entitled, "Recent Developments in Employment Law: Family Status Discrimination" for the firm's 13th Annual Labour & Employment Group Symposium.

BC Court of Appeal finds Coast Mountain Bus Company's Attendance Management Program to be discriminatory

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Transportation

In a decision issued on October 15, 2010 - Coast Mountain Bus Company Ltd. v. National Automobile, Aerospace, Transportation and General Workers of Canada
(CAW-Canada), Local 111
, 2010 BCCA 447 - the BC Court of Appeal found Coast Mountain Bus Company's Attendance Management Program to be discriminatory.

In doing so, the appeal court overturned the chambers judge's 2009 decision, which I wrote about here, and restored the BC Human Rights Tribunal's February 2008 decision on this point.  read more »

Tribunal orders CNR to reinstate three female employees who declined transfers because they had young children

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued three companion decisions last week in which they ordered the Canadian National Railway to reinstate three female employees who had been terminated when they declined temporary transfers from Jasper, Alberta to Vancouver, BC because they had young children.

The Tribunal found that the employees had been discriminated against on the basis of "family status".

CNR was also required to pay damages for lost earnings, pain and suffering and wilful and reckless conduct.

The decisions are:  read more »

"Family Status: Evolving Trends and the Need for Novel Accommodation"

Two lawyers at Gowlings -Jennifer Vermiere (Vancouver) and Myriane Le François (Montréal)  - have written a paper entitled, "Family Status: Evolving Trends and the Need for Novel Accommodation" (2010).

Discrimination based on "family status" where Canada Border Services refused to modify schedule for mother of two

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In a decision issued last month - Johnstone v. Canada Border Services, 2010 CHRT 20 - the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ("CHRT") found discrimination based on "family status" where Canada Border Services refused to modify the work schedule for an employee who was the mother of two young children but who wanted to still have full-time hours.

The decision re-affirms that the scope of "family status" in human rights legislation can encompass childcare responsibilities.

Law firm Oglivy Renault has written a good summary of the decision ("Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Weighs In on Accommodating Employee Childcare Obligations") which can be found here.

Both parties have apparently filed an application with the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review of the decision, Ms. Johnstone on the basis that the CHRT should have awarded her reimbursement for her legal fees.  read more »

"Accommodation of Mental Disabilities in B.C."

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

"Accommodation of Mental Disabilities in B.C." (June 2010) is the title of a paper written by Taryn Mackie. Ms. Mackie is a lawyer at Bull Housser Tupper in Vancouver, BC.

The Table of Contents set out the following topics:

  1. What Constitutes a Mental Disability under the Human Rights Code
  2. Properly Assessing the Disability
  3. The Employer's Duty to Make Inquiries
  4. Determining the Nature and Extent of the Accommodation
  5. The Employee's Obligations with respect to Accommodation 
  6. Case Example: ADGA Group Consultants Inc. v. Lane
  7. Terminating Employment When Accommodation is Not Possible or is Unsuccessful

An overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status"

A high-level overview of how Canadian jurisdictions approach discrimination based on "family status": 

  • It is included as a prohibited ground in relation to employment in each Canadian jurisdiction except New Brunswick and Newfoundland.
  • Saskatchewan defines it as being in a parent-child relationship.
  • Quebec uses the term "civil status".
  • The Northwest Territories has a prohibition on the grounds of "family status" as well as "family affiliation".

(My source was this publication on the Canadian Human Rights Commission's website, which was last updated in early 2009).