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Employee not discriminated against as breastfeeding a “choice”- Federal Court of Appeal Decision

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The recent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal of Flatt v. Canada (Attorney General), addresses the employer’s duty to accommodate. Ms. Laura Flatt, the applicant, sought a judicial review from the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board (Board) after her grievance against her employer, the Treasury Board of Canada, was dismissed. The applicant had filed her grievance based on discrimination on the grounds of sex and family status contrary to the Canadian Human Rights Act. (more…)

Human Rights Legal Education Workshop

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Sambrano Legal Services helps businesses to avoid costly litigation by informing them of their rights and obligations under various legislation. We offer a variety of workshops for small and medium-sized businesses.  A energetic leader and public speaker, Kevin’s seminars are lively, engaging and most of all educational. (more…)

Coming this January

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Remedial powers of the Human Rights Tribunal

justiceOften employers are unaware of the pitfalls of becoming embroiled in a Human Rights application. Employers are sometimes shocked to find that the Tribunal’s powers not only lay in monetary awards, but also in non-monetary, as well as future compliance or public interest remedies. If an employer is found to have breached the Code, below are just some examples of such powers and remedies which the Tribunal may order. (more…)

Family status: Recent interpretation under the Human Rights Code

handsRequests for accommodation due to family status are becoming more common as societal norms continue to change. The leading case in Ontario that addresses the worker’s rights and the employer’s obligations on the ground of family status is arguably Devaney v. ZRV Holdings Limited, 2012 HRTO 1590. The case confirms that an employer’s failure to reasonably accommodate an employee’s family caregiving responsibilities may result in a breach of the Human Rights Code (“Code”), and that family status has now been interpreted to include elder care. (more…)

Constructive discrimination: The case of Tawney Meiorin

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Constructive or adverse discrimination in employment occurs when rules or standards are established that do not discriminate at first glance, but have an adverse effect on persons whose rights are protected under human rights legislation. In such a case, the burden shifts to the employer to establish that such rules or standards are essential to the job, also known as bona fide occupational requirements (BFOR’s). British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations Commission) v. BCGSEU is the leading case which addresses this issue. This seminal human rights case from the Supreme Court of Canada established a three-part test which has become the standard to evaluate constructive discrimination. (more…)

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