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Duty to Accommodate

More on discrimination based on "family status"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Law firm Fasken Martineau issued an e-bulletin today entitled "Employee's Family Obligations: To what Extent must they be Accommodated?". It offers some practical advice for employers to follow when confronted with this murky area of law that is still in its early stages of development.

I have previously written posts on discrimination based on family status - including on the same case discussed by Faskens - that can be found here and here.  read more »

Lancaster House announces 2010 Vancouver Human Rights and Accommodation Conference

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

Lancaster House has announced the details concerning its 2010 Vancouver Human Rights and Accommodation Conference. The conference will be held on March 17 and 18, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. It will be co-chaired by Sandra Guarascio from Roper Greyell and Diane MacDonald, who is General Counsel for the BC Teachers Federation. Early bird rates are available until Februry 5, 2010. More information can be found here.

Employee’s refusal to extend Return to Work Agreement, acknowledge alcohol dependency, not just cause

In Taylor v. New Westminster (City) (Vancouver Registry S084283, August 19, 2009), the court found that the employer did not have just cause to dismiss an employee who refused to sign an extension to a Return to Work Agreement that required him to acknowledge that he had an alcohol dependency.


At the time of his dismissal, the employee was 54 years old, had 16 years of service and earned a salary of approximately $90,000 per annum. He was Manager of Fleet Services, a safety sensitive position in that he supervised a team of mechanics who performed maintenance and repair work on the employer's various vehicles, including those for the fire and police departments.

Until February 2007, the employee had "an excellent work history" and the employer had "no concerns about his safety in the workplace" (para. 9).

The Incident  read more »

Discrimination based on "family status" not found in case where employee was fired for refusing to work overtime

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The BC Human Rights Tribunal recently ruled in Falardeau v. Ferguson Moving et al 2009 BCHRT 272 that an employer did not discriminate against a single father employee on the basis of "family status" when it fired him for refusing to work overtime.

In doing so, the Tribunal cited the BC Court of Appeal's decision in Health Sciences Assn. of British Columbia v. Campbell River and North Island Transition Society, 2004 BCCA 260, where the Court discussed, but did not define, discrimination based on family status:  read more »

Court finds that Attendence Management Program does not amount to systemic discrimination

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Transportation

In a decision issued a few weeks ago - Coast Mountain Bus v. CAW-Canada, 2009 BCSC 396 - the BC Supreme Court found that Coast Mountain Bus' Attendance Management Program (AMP) did not amount to systemic discrimination and that the monitoring of absences of employees who are regularly off work is a bona fide occupational requirement (BFOR). In doing so, the court overturned much of the BC Human Rights Tribunal's February 2008 decision on the matter.

Coast Mountain's predecessor company had first introduced the AMP in 1997. It applied to all of the company's employees, including its approximately 3,000 unionized transit operators.

The AMP had previously been the subject of a labour arbitration in 2000. Subsequent to the arbitrator's award - which allowed certain aspects of the grievance - the union filed a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal (BCHRT).  read more »