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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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I'm asking my employer based on family status (care-giving

Customer Question

I'm asking my employer for accommodation based on family status (care-giving needs) under the Ontario Human Rights Code (I have 4 children who require care - 2 before and after school and the other 2 full-day) and work as a part-time employee. Full-time employees have a set rotating schedule (Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat, Sun one week and Wed, Thurs the next that continues to repeat itself of 12 hour shifts - 2 weeks days, 2 weeks nights), where part-time employees get a random schedule (Mon, Tues one week, Tues, Fri the next week, then maybe Wed, Thurs the following week, etc). I'm asking if my employer can schedule me the same 2 days every week (eg. every Mon/Tues) so that I am able to arrange care for my kids. The bus will not pick up my kids are daycare unless the schedule is the same each week (same 2 days) and I cannot find a daycare provider to take my kids for 2 random days a week even if I know them in advance as they will only guarantee their spots if it's the same 2 days, as well. There are limited options, too, because I require daycare to start at 5:45 am as my husband works full-time and is the breadwinner. Does my employer have a legal duty to accommodate as there is a conflict between my work obligation (I must work 2 days a week) and my care-giving responsibilities (leaving my children at home by themselves would be neglect - they require childcare)?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

The employer has a legal duty to accommodate your needs so long as the accommodations you ask for are reasonable and so long as they do not cause the employer to undergo undue hardship.

So if you file a complaint the employer can try and defend the complaint by showing that they cannot make this accommodation without suffering undue hardship which usually relates to costs.

Whether you will succeed or not will therefore depend on the actual facts and whether the employer can or cannot make the accommodations without suffering undue hardship.

Does that help as a starting point?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I work for an 11,000+ person company (hospital) - my supervisor (not my employer) initially told me that I could not have "special treatment" because everyone has care-giving responsibilities and that part-time workers are just used to fill in the gaps in the schedule (full-time employees who are on vacation, off sick (short or long term) and any other gaps that are not covered by the full-time employees). On top of my scheduled shifts that I get, there is opportunity for part-time and casual employees to pick up extra shifts (up to 7 total including my scheduled shifts every 2 weeks). I looked over the last 7 months of work and found that there was only 8 days out of over 200 where I was either not schedule or asked for availability to cover a shift - it's possible that other part-time workers were scheduled on those 8 days, though, not 100% sure. I think they fear that they could schedule me every Tues/Wed but then 1 time in 6 months they may have too many people scheduled to work that day - do you think they could argue that the "rule" about a random schedule for part-time employees shows prima facie discrimination? And if it is, can the employer claim that the rule about a random schedule for part-timers was adopted for a purpose that is rationally connected to the function being performed (they may try to say it will cost them extra money if they have me there on a day when they are already fully staffed). Also, does it make a difference that the rule only applies to part-time employees and not full-time employees (therefore not inclusive and so they must accommodate individual differences up
to the point of undue hardship rather than maintaining discriminatory standards supplemented by accommodation for those who cannot meet them?)
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

It seems to me that while it is an inconvenience they can easily accommodate you and they can treat everyone the same and fairly. So everyone in your situation can be treated like you are.

Equality doesn't mean treated every one exactly the same but it means treating all in the same situation the same.

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