Family Status Accommodations:
A Review of the Legal Obligations for Employers and Employees in the Canadian Workplace
Chris Foulon, Carita Wong, and Andrea Stoddart, of Israel Foulon LLP
The sons and daughters of "baby boomers" are sometimes called "the sandwich generation". This cohort has the unenviable task of both raising their own families while often also taking on financial and caregiving responsibilities in respect of their aging parents. As a result, it is becoming increasingly common for employers to be faced with scenarios which require its consideration of an employee's entitlement to accommodation under the ground of "family status". This enumerated ground under Ontario's Human Rights Code and under the Canadian Human Rights Act has resulted in recent decisions relating to the balance between work and family obligations and accommodation requirements. The Ontario Employment Standards Act also provides protection to families under its Personal Emergency Leave provisions.
This paper canvasses the existing legislation in respect of "family status" accommodation obligations and provides an overview of a number of recent cases that shed some light on how "family status" accommodation situations are playing out in Canadian workplaces.
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Queen's IRC Archive Revitalization Project
Cathy Sheldrick, Queen's IRC Marketing Assistant
The Queen's IRC archive revitalization project has been unveiled. The goal of the project, driven by Queen's IRC Director Paul Juniper, was to digitize archive publications to make them available to the public once again.
"I am excited to be able to share our IRC research and publication history in a new and accessible way," said Juniper.
Throughout its rich history, Queen's IRC has enjoyed a long-standing tradition of research excellence in the field of labour relations and human resources. For many years, the IRC operated the IRC Press, which was committed to creating, promoting, and disseminating knowledge about the world of work.
Today, Queen's IRC primarily releases its practitioner-focused research online, but as a former publishing house, the IRC holds hundreds of publications in their archive. In 2011, the IRC began a project to digitize some of the "lost" print copies of articles, papers, case studies, and interviews in the collection. During the digitization process, archive articles were carefully selected, scanned, converted, and reformatted digitally. When the newly redesigned Queen's IRC website launched in July 2013, they began to share these resources online.
"We have added these papers to the hundreds of resources available on our website," said Juniper. From George Adams' Negotiation: Why Do We Do It Like We Do? to Diane Patterson's First Contract Arbitration in Ontario: An Evaluation of the Early Experience, these documents will help students, practitioners, and life-long learners understand the context of where we came from and how we got to where we are today.
The two year project was spearheaded by Queen's IRC Director Paul Juniper, and led by Marketing Assistant, Cathy Sheldrick. Several Queen's students also assisted with the archive digitization process.
Archive documents can be found in the Research and Resources section of the Queen's IRC website. More documents are being added on a monthly basis.
Queen's IRC is also launching the "Flashback Feature", which will highlight an article from the archives that has recently been digitized.
The Evolution of Sexual Harassment Case Law in Canada
Deborah Ann Campbell
In this paper from 1992, Deborah Ann Campbell takes a look at the issue of sexual harassment in the Canadian workplace. Once considered to be an accepted part of a woman's job — something she just had to put up with — the author reflects on the changing legal and social attitudes towards sexual harassment. This report traces the evolution of sexual harassment case law in Canada, to illustrate how the fundamental issues were resolved. The emphasis is on Ontario human rights cases and Canadian arbitration cases.
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