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Accommodation of Caregiving Responsibilities: A Key Employment Issue
A jurisprudential logjam seems to be breaking up on the issue of the caregiving responsibilities of workers. In two recent decisions, Canadian National Railway Co. v. Seeley (CHRR Doc. 13-3041) and Canada (Attorney General) v. Johnstone (CHRR Doc. 13-3006), the Federal Court ruled in favour of women whose family childcare responsibilities conflicted with work rules.
The women were both working for employers with rotating or unpredictable schedules. When Denise Seeley, a freight train conductor whose home depot was Jasper, Alberta, did not report to Vancouver to cover a shortage because she could not arrange adequate childcare, she was fired by Canadian National. When Fiona Johnstone, a border services agent, requested a static shift so that she could...
Saskatchewan Human Rights Code Hate Provision Upheld
COMMUNICATIONS — HATE PROPAGANDA — INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES — CANADIAN CHARTER OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS — CONSTITUTIONAL LAW — FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION — SEXUAL ORIENTATION — RELIGION AND CREED — APPEALS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW / Appeal of (2010), 69 C.H.R.R. D/341, 2010 SKCA 26, which overturned (2007), 61 C.H.R.R. D/401, 2007 SKQB 450, which upheld (2005), 52 C.H.R.R. D/264 (S.H.R.T.), which found...
What Was Said
Federal Court Justice Mandamin
"[I]t is difficult to have regard to family without giving thought to children in the family and the relationship between parents and children. The singular most important aspect of that relationship is the parents' care for children. It seems to me that if Parliament intended to exclude parental childcare obligations, it would have chosen language that clearly said so."
Human Rights Digest 14-3, April 2013