Childcare Obligations Protected Under “Family Staus”

Most human rights legislation in Canada prohibits discrimination of employment on the basis of “family status”. However, the scope of this protection and whether it covers standard childcare obligations is unclear. The Federal Court’s recent decision in Johnstone v. Canada represents the latest court determination of this issue.

The decision determines that parental childcare obligations fall squareley within the protected grounds of family status, signaling to employers that when work obligations and childcare responsibilities come into conflict , the duty to accomodate may be mandated.