Having children a new right for accommodation in the workplace? What do you think??


Goober
+1
#1
Having children a new right for accommodation in the workplace? What do you think??
New mother who didn’t like her work hours should have found a new job, not a human rights case | Full Comment | National Post

Good news for all the new parents out there: You’re all your own bosses, now.

This surprising news comes courtesy of the Federal Court, which ruled last week that refusing to accommodate a parent’s schedule constitutes discrimination on the basis of family status. The case in question was the appeal of a 2010 Canadian Human Rights Commission ruling, which found that a new parent had the right to work her preferred shift, not the one assigned to her by her employer.

The new parent was customs officer Fiona Johnstone, who worked at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on a rotating shift. Ms. Johnstone, after returning from maternity leave following the birth of her child in 2004, requested that management assign her a full-time, thrice-weekly 12-hour shift, to accommodate her childcare arrangements. Management, citing pre-existing policy, refused.

Instead they let her work three days a week at 10 hours, and a fourth day for four hours. Ms. Johnstone took it, but she also took her case to the rights commission.
She won, the ruling was appealed, and now, she’s won again, this time at the Federal Court. She will be paid the money she lost out due to the hours she lost due to the unaccommodating schedule, and an additional $20,000 in compensation.

The human rights tribunal had originally ruled, and the court eventually agreed, that employers are obligated to accommodate family status, because having children isn’t a lifestyle choice. But of course it is. We have the right to become parents. But we don’t have the right to drag our employer, and our fellow employees along for the ride. After all, someone else must now cover the shift that Ms. Johnstone won’t.

Ms. Johnstone may not have intended to get pregnant — I have no idea. But this is not a case of a navigationally challenged stork dropping a baby at her house without any prior warning, or Ms. Johnstone’s consent. The ultimate decision to start a family was hers. Having a child brings enormous responsibilities onto new parents, but we must not delude ourselves into thinking that these new responsibilities are confined exclusively to the baby.

Even exhausted new parents have responsibilities outside of the home. If one wishes to make their newborn their only priority, that’s fine. Quit your job and devote yourself, full-time, to the baby. But if you choose to continue to interact with the broader world, you do so on its terms.

Ms. Johnstone’s original request was entirely fair, and employers should do their best to help new parents cope with the stress and exhaustion of welcoming a new child. But not every employer will be able, or inclined, to be helpful. And one genuine right every Canadian does have is the right to quit and seek out a better boss.
 
PoliticalNick
+7
#2  Top Rated Post
Wow! This is amazing. I want to follow my kids hockey and drama and need time off my crazy work schedule to do it. I guess now my boss will have to give it to me or face the consequences. Too bad for him if he cannot provide the service he is contracted to provide to his customers....I have family status that trumps his right to run a successful business and earn a living.

What a crock of sh*t! Let her find a new job. They made some concessions in order to try to accommodate but that wasn't good enough. Maybe she should have considered all the ramifications BEFORE getting knocked-up or just deal with it like we all have for all of history.
 
karrie
+2
#3
I think it should be expected of any employer, at any time, for any reason, that when and where they can, they will accommodate work schedules insofar as no damage to the end product is noticeable by said employers.

This article had me fairly in line with it until its closing paragraph, where it makes it sound that the only reason the employer refused was, because they could. That's not right in any scenario.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

BTW, expect to see more expectations like this from the government, reflecting the new push in family dynamics.

"We desperately want you to be dual income homes, but we realize now we ****ed up and our population is shrinking, eating into our future tax base. Please breed AND work."
 
taxslave
+1
#4
Here is a case of one government employee helping out another government employee at the employers (taxpayer)expense.
 
petros
+3
#5
Remember the good old days when moms had jobs as moms?
 
damngrumpy
#6
Actually many progressive employers already understand that concept. if you have good
employees and you want to keep them or keep the staff happy why not as long as the
business is running properly. If the request is for a genuine purpose I think it would make
good business sense as well. We have some idiots in the work place and we have some
employers that should at least hire a manager so people won't know how awful they are.
What surprises me is this had to go to court in the first place.
There are companies working hard to accommodate shifts. I can see the time coming when
employers will also be in the daycare business and its not that far off. The society is changing
and its requirements are as well.
 
karrie
#7
There are a lot of changes I anticipate as the world shifts and changes.

One is way more telecommuting. Hubby already only expects back office staff to put in less than half of their hours on site, so long as their work is getting done and he can see evidence of a 40 hr work week.

Two is for child centred workers to be subsidized for care for their own children. For example, right now, if a daycare worker has more than one child who has to go into daycare so that she can work, then she is no longer taking home a paycheque, as the costs are greater than her take home. Despite the fact that she opens up more spaces than she fills. This leaves constant gaps in the capacity of daycares to warehouse people's children for the day. It's an inefficiency in the system that keeps her tax revenue, and potentially the tax revenue of unaccomodated mothers, out of the coffers.
 
Angstrom
+3
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Remember the good old days when moms had jobs as moms?

Ever since then The Value of money has dropped by more then half.
The Woman revolution devalued our currency.

Get back in the kitchen Damn it!!!

xDDDDDD
 
PoliticalNick
+2
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

There are a lot of changes I anticipate as the world shifts and changes.

One is way more telecommuting. Hubby already only expects back office staff to put in less than half of their hours on site, so long as their work is getting done and he can see evidence of a 40 hr work week.

Two is for child centred workers to be subsidized for care for their own children. For example, right now, if a daycare worker has more than one child who has to go into daycare so that she can work, then she is no longer taking home a paycheque, as the costs are greater than her take home. Despite the fact that she opens up more spaces than she fills. This leaves constant gaps in the capacity of daycares to warehouse people's children for the day. It's an inefficiency in the system that keeps her tax revenue, and potentially the tax revenue of unaccomodated mothers, out of the coffers.

It is all well & good to have employees work from home or phone it in when that is a viable option but I, for instance, am a class 1 driver and the woman in the article is a customs agent at the airport. Neither of these jobs can be done from home. She knew the requirements of the job when she made the decision to have a family and the employer should not be forced to change the way they operate because of her decision. It is a terrible precedent to allow the employee to dictate the terms and hours of employment and what shifts they can or cannot work. I think the best thing would have been for her to take a leave of absence until she was ready to work the regular rotation. Sometimes life forces tough decisions upon us but this woman wants to have her cake and eat it to.
 
Niflmir
#10
From the human rights tribunal:

Quote:

[5] The practices complained of include failure to accommodate, and adverse differential treatment based on family status, which in this case means the raising of two young children. Pursuant to the findings in Moore v. Canada Post Corporation, 2007 CHRT 31 (CanLII), 2007 CHRT 31, at para. 86 "failure to accommodate" is not a discriminatory practice under the Act, as "there is no free-standing right to accommodation under the CHRA."

...

[91] When her attempts to find childcare that would allow her to work the VSSA full-time failed, Ms. Johnstone pursued full-time hours despite her knowledge that in most cases it is denied. She did this in part because she also knew that there had been exceptions made to this unwritten policy, and that some workers who had returned from maternity leave had been given static shift daytime hour duties, and shifts of greater length than the regular 8 hours per day.

...

[365] ...
c) CBSA has failed to establish a bona fide occupational requirement, present a reasonable explanation for, or otherwise justify the case of prima facie discrimination against it.

It seems they have the right of it: they make such accommodations for some people, and not for others. When asked why they cannot get an accommodation, workers are told that, "Having children is a lifestyle choice," making it the stated reason for the failure to accommodate, there is no official policy nor any realistic reason for this.
 
damngrumpy
#11
The society changed in and of itself. Yes we had moms stay at home. Now women want to
be part of the decision making process and they have a right to explore their talents and be
paid for their service. In addition many women are not even bothering to have children any
more. They have their own careers and having a little dog is way cheaper and they can do
as the male population does.
We needed women to build the planes to fly over foreign lands to drop bombs in war and
from then on women were part of the workforce. Blindly dreaming of yesterday is not the
answer the problems are different and the solutions required are completely different.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#12
Sucks to be single now-a-days. You will now get the crappy shifts (all the choice ones given to people with kids) and that will pretty much guarantee you will remain single not meeting your true mate since you are spending all your evenings working.
 
karrie
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

Sucks to be single now-a-days. You will now get the crappy shifts (all the choice ones given to people with kids) and that will pretty much guarantee you will remain single not meeting your true mate since you are spending all your evenings working.



Nothing in the article says she was asking to be given precedent over a single person. Just that she was asking for an accommodation for herself. If that's not possible because of other employees' schedules, that's not possible, then they'd have a valid argument not to. But the article makes it sound like they did not accommodate her simply because they were able to refuse.
 
JLM
+1
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

Wow! This is amazing. I want to follow my kids hockey and drama and need time off my crazy work schedule to do it. I guess now my boss will have to give it to me or face the consequences. Too bad for him if he cannot provide the service he is contracted to provide to his customers....I have family status that trumps his right to run a successful business and earn a living.

What a crock of sh*t! Let her find a new job. They made some concessions in order to try to accommodate but that wasn't good enough. Maybe she should have considered all the ramifications BEFORE getting knocked-up or just deal with it like we all have for all of history.

Right on, Nick. I always understood that if an employer is required to pay wages he should be able to have you when he wants you. More of the tail wagging the dog bullsh*t!

Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

I think it should be expected of any employer, at any time, for any reason, that when and where they can, they will accommodate work schedules insofar as no damage to the end product is noticeable by said employers.

It used to be "he who pays the fiddler calls the tune"-
 
PoliticalNick
+2
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

Nothing in the article says she was asking to be given precedent over a single person. Just that she was asking for an accommodation for herself. If that's not possible because of other employees' schedules, that's not possible, then they'd have a valid argument not to. But the article makes it sound like they did not accommodate her simply because they were able to refuse.

They did accomodate. They were willing to take her off rotational shifts and give her a static 4-10s & a 4. That was not good enough for her. She didn't want to have to find and pay a babysitter for that 4 hour shift so she launched this ludicrous complaint and some friken meathead agreed that she shouldn't have to exert herself and find that babysitter. It's a joke! Millions of people make it work, even if it cost a few bucks, when they have kids but this greedy b*tch thinks the govt and taxpayers should bend over for her.

I wonder if she has seen this picture of her kid.....
 
karrie
+2
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

They did accomodate. They were willing to take her off rotational shifts and give her a static 4-10s & a 4. That was not good enough for her.

Is that not the difference between giving her full time status and keeping her down in the part time roster? Not because they couldn't accommodate her, but because they didn't have to. So, they have an actual financial incentive to not give her the shift she asked for, and policy to back them up.

But, I suspect if you're down to calling her names, you're not really feeling like looking at it from all sides.
 
PoliticalNick
+2
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

Is that not the difference between giving her full time status and keeping her down in the part time roster? Not because they couldn't accommodate her, but because they didn't have to. So, they have an actual financial incentive to not give her the shift she asked for, and policy to back them up.

But, I suspect if you're down to calling her names, you're not really feeling like looking at it from all sides.

She was already full-time. Their offer, which she accepted, was 4x10s & 1x4. That is 44 hrs/wk. She wanted to do 4x12s or 48 hrs/wk. Hardly any difference and both well above the 32 hrs required for full-time status. So what was her reason for complaint? As it states in the article she had childcare for those 4 days but not for the 5th. I have to assume she was getting free care from a family member for the 4 days and would have to pay for the 4 hour shift on the 5th day. Even if she was paying for the 4 days she simply did not want to find a different caregiver or pay for the 5th day. In my opinion she is being completely selfish and not considering her employer (thats you and me BTW) at all. There are choices and adjustments we all have to make when starting a family and she didn't want to make those changes so she got some idiots to basically say employers have no right to tell employees when they will work.
 
karrie
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

She was already full-time. Their offer, which she accepted, was 4x10s & 1x4. That is 44 hrs/wk. She wanted to do 4x12s or 48 hrs/wk. Hardly any difference and both well above the 32 hrs required for full-time status. So what was her reason for complaint? As it states in the article she had childcare for those 4 days but not for the 5th. I have to assume she was getting free care from a family member for the 4 days and would have to pay for the 4 hour shift on the 5th day. Even if she was paying for the 4 days she simply did not want to find a different caregiver or pay for the 5th day. In my opinion she is being completely selfish and not considering her employer (thats you and me BTW) at all. There are choices and adjustments we all have to make when starting a family and she didn't want to make those changes so she got some idiots to basically say employers have no right to tell employees when they will work.

It was 3 10's and a 4, but a moot point if the full time cut off is 32 in Toronto and not 36.

Regardless, I think you're inflating what they have said. That haven't said employers have no right to tell them when they work.

They have said that employers can't dismiss obligations to childcare, in the work equation. I don't think it's the groundbreaking decision for the average Joe, that you think it will be.
 
captain morgan
+2
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Goober View Post

Ms. Johnstone’s original request was entirely fair, and employers should do their best to help new parents cope with the stress and exhaustion of welcoming a new child. But not every employer will be able, or inclined, to be helpful. And one genuine right every Canadian does have is the right to quit and seek out a better boss.

Fair for who?.. There are others in this equation that have been missed in the ruling - those other employees that also have life obligations

The Human Right's groups in Canada are idiots

Quote: Originally Posted by IdRatherBeSkiing View Post

Sucks to be single now-a-days. You will now get the crappy shifts (all the choice ones given to people with kids) and that will pretty much guarantee you will remain single not meeting your true mate since you are spending all your evenings working.

You'd almost wonder if the singles at this company can launch a complaint that the remaining shifts will prevent them from finding a significant other with which to start a family.

Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

They have said that employers can't dismiss obligations to childcare, in the work equation. I don't think it's the groundbreaking decision for the average Joe, that you think it will be.

Everyone has obligations in one form or another. In this example, the rights of this woman have trumped all other rights of her fellow employees.
 
petros
#20
Where do the dad's fit?
 
Cliffy
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by petros View Post

Where do the dad's fit?

The sperm donors are usually more flexible. They don't have a kid hanging on to a teat.
 
petros
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

The sperm donors are usually more flexible. They don't have a kid hanging on to a teat.

It took 14 years to shake my kid off. She was stuck to me like glue.
 
JLM
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morgan View Post


The Human Right's groups in Canada are idiots


I'm not sure if "idiot" is quite the right word, they are just clever enough to act like idiots but one thing for sure a "human right" for one person is often an encumbrance for another.
 
IdRatherBeSkiing
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

Nothing in the article says she was asking to be given precedent over a single person. Just that she was asking for an accommodation for herself. If that's not possible because of other employees' schedules, that's not possible, then they'd have a valid argument not to. But the article makes it sound like they did not accommodate her simply because they were able to refuse.

That's not what I have been hearing as this is reported on the news. However, it would not be the first time reporters are wrong and probably won't be the last, but I can certainly see that this would be a logical outcome.
 
PoliticalNick
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

It was 3 10's and a 4, but a moot point if the full time cut off is 32 in Toronto and not 36.

You are correct, my mistake on the numbers.

Doesn't change the fact that she was unwilling to seek out and pay or childcare for that 4 hour shift like every other person does. I think they bent over backwards for her by allowing her to not work rotational shifts like all the other agents at the airport do and I'm sure you will find some with children. What this ruling does is open the door for all the other employees with kids to now dictate when they will work. This will turn into a nightmare for any employer who runs shifts and I can see them not hiring women with children or young women who might be having children in the future. She has not done any good for those women out there because it will become a consideration for employers when hiring.
 
taxslave
+1
#26
Perhaps according to the union agreement the shift she was demanding required paying some overtime.
 
karrie
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

You are correct, my mistake on the numbers.

Doesn't change the fact that she was unwilling to seek out and pay or childcare for that 4 hour shift like every other person does. I think they bent over backwards for her by allowing her to not work rotational shifts like all the other agents at the airport do and I'm sure you will find some with children. What this ruling does is open the door for all the other employees with kids to now dictate when they will work. This will turn into a nightmare for any employer who runs shifts and I can see them not hiring women with children or young women who might be having children in the future. She has not done any good for those women out there because it will become a consideration for employers when hiring.

I think you underestimate the ease with which people can find child care. I have a friend who works at the Legislature and she had a brutal time finding a daycare that fit her work hours and kids' school situation, and she's 9-5 with only a half hour of travel time in there.

Also, the court ruling never said that they had to give children precedence over any other workplace consideration. They merely said that the employer can't tell her that children were a choice and therefor won't be factored in.

Any employer needs to balance a host of issues when planning schedules.

Talking about this with hubby he unapologetically stated that he factors family life in and some of his employees get 'preferential' treatment from the organization because of it. But, the staff is usually on board with that fact. Single dad is the only tool hand who is not expected to wiggle with his days off schedule. All other hands are expected to be somewhat flexible unless they have a good reason. Unfortunately, that 'preferential' treatment in his field means he makes less money because he can't pick up and go when a bonus earning job comes up. But regardless, the family life is factored in and accommodated for.
 
PoliticalNick
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslave View Post

Perhaps according to the union agreement the shift she was demanding required paying some overtime.

I would certainly imagine it did which is another consideration. Why should we, the taxpayers, foot the bill for her extra pay (being a federal govt employee I am sure it isn't cheap) because she chose to have a kid.
 
taxslave
#29
My DiL looks after two kids for a single cop. She often has them overnight. Since the kids go to the same school it works out not too bad.
 
karrie
+1
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by PoliticalNick View Post

I would certainly imagine it did which is another consideration. Why should we, the taxpayers, foot the bill for her extra pay (being a federal govt employee I am sure it isn't cheap) because she chose to have a kid.

lol.... that right there is exactly it.

It's a biological drive that has the capacity to kill a woman if unmet. It can tear apart marriages, families, and the individual. While I've made the rational choice to cap my family due to health concerns (I was going blind from my pregnancies due to pseudotumor), I would have taken the health risk to have my first two. I had no choice. It was my driving factor from the time I was 10 years old on.

So can you dismiss it and say 'your choice, I'm not going to try to accommodate you?'

The close of this article states that her request was reasonable. Turning it down simply because policy said you could is flawed.