Canadian court affirms duty to accommodate employees’ family obligations but not personal choices

June 29, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Stephanie Gutierrez

In a recent decision on family-status discrimination, the Federal Court of Appeal confirmed that employers in Canada are required to accommodate employees’ childcare obligations but not their voluntary parental choices, such as extracurricular or recreational activities. read more…

When can Canadian employment contracts be terminated for ‘frustration’?

March 09, 2014 1 COMMENTS

By Marc Rodrigue

Like any contract, an employment contract can be legally “frustrated” and come to an end. Basically, this may happen when it becomes impossible for one of the parties to perform his or her end of the bargain. For example an employment contract can be frustrated when, because of an illness or injury, it becomes clear that an employee is no longer able to work. But it is not easy to define when that will become clear. read more…

Employee privacy in the accommodation process

February 09, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Keri Bennett

We all know employees across Canada have an obligation to participate in the accommodation process. That extends to providing proper medical documentation. If an employee fails to provide such documentation, surely he or she could be disciplined. Not necessarily.

Notwithstanding the employee’s obligation to participate in the accommodation process, an Ontario arbitrator has ruled that an employer was not entitled to discipline an employee who failed to consent to the release of personal medical information to support repeat absences over a span of eight years. But there can still be consequences to the employee. read more…

Allergies in the workplace can’t be ignored

September 29, 2013 1 COMMENTS

By Eowynne Noble

Peanuts, gluten, perfumes, smoke, and latex—we all know allergies to these and other substances are on the rise. And workplaces aren’t immune to the problem. More and more employees are suffering from allergies and sensitivities than ever before.

To put it in perspective, Health Canada recently reported that up to four percent of Canadians have a physician-diagnosed food allergy. We understand that schools accommodate these types of allergies, but surely employers don’t have to. Not true, as was made clear in a recent Ontario arbitration decision, London Health Sciences Centre v. Ontario Nurses’ Association (LHSC v. ONA). read more…

Recalling employees from work-from-home arrangements

April 21, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Eowynne Noble

The CEOs at top tech companies have received attention over their policies allowing employees to work from home. While some companies insist that working from home motivates people to work responsibly, quickly, and with high quality, others prefer their employees to work in the office.

The reality is that each company is unique, and the decision to continue or cancel alternate work arrangements depends on a number of considerations. A necessary and critical consideration in making this decision is the employer’s legal obligation to continue such arrangements. read more…

Accommodation Doesn’t Prevent Corporate Reorganization

January 31, 2011 0 COMMENTS

By Jennifer Shepherd and Gulu Punia

It’s a common question. A Canadian employer is restructuring and an absent employee is affected. Can the employer fire the employee if he or she is on disability or other leave? A recent Federal Court of Canada decision, Tutty v. MTS Allstream Inc., has confirmed that the answer is “yes.”

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Accommodating Mental Illness

November 15, 2010 0 COMMENTS

By Alix Herber and Hadiya Roderique

In Canada, employers have a duty to accommodate individuals suffering from a disability to the level of undue hardship. In the case of an employee with a physical disability, it often can be relatively straightforward to identify accommodations that can be implemented.

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