The BC Law Institute has recently announced that it has commenced a project to research the meaning of “Family Status” under the BC Human Rights Code.
The Overview of the "BC Family Status Legal Research Project" found on the BCLI website states as follows: read more »
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.
Tribunal orders CNR to reinstate three female employees who declined transfers because they had young children
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 »
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
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 a 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 »
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).
As I noted in my post a few days ago, I presented a paper on The Law on Workplace Investigations: An Update on Key Developments on May 13, 2010 at the BC "Employment Law Conference 2010" Continuing Legal Education (CLE).
The other presenters on Day 1, and their topics, were: read more »