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jaberi

join:2010-08-13

Court tells employers to accommodate child-care requests

A recent ruling by the Federal Court may have opened the door for Canadian workers to craft their own hours and conditions, regardless of how they would affect their employers.

The Canadian Press reports the Federal Court has ruled that employers are required to accommodate reasonable childcare-related requests from employees, siding with a previous Human Rights Tribunal decision.

»ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybre···246.html


jaberi

join:2010-08-13

will employer's hesitate to hire women now....and will that also mean more suitable shifts, more unsuitable for those without children?



Mike2009

join:2009-01-13
Ottawa, ON
kudos:3

Men have childcare responsibilities as well.



A Lurker
that's Ms Lurker btw
Premium
join:2007-10-27
Wellington N

said by Mike2009:

Men have childcare responsibilities as well.

Agreed, but employers don't usually consider that when interviewing. I work with someone who leaves early every Friday to pick up his kids (shared custody). I don't pay specific attention as we don't cover for each other. Also because if I do it would likely piss me off. He works 90 mins a week less than myself and a few other employees. I know it pisses off his closest coworker a lot.

His boss doesn't work in the same city (and I'm sure he knows), however, although he may think he makes up his time by taking shorter lunches, the rest of us at times work through our lunches and don't cut out early. I've seen this way more with women (and I'm sure it affects employer's attitudes when hiring).

resa1983
Premium
join:2008-03-10
North York, ON
kudos:10
reply to jaberi

I can understand this ruling..

Its difficult enough as it is to get childcare.. Add in the uncertainty of when a shift is going to be (due to rotating shifts), and childcare suddenly may not be available when you absolutely need it.

With a job like that, you give your employer your availability due to them requiring 24/7 coverage (my husband's job is much the same way - he does wed, thurs, fri, sat nights, 40 hrs a week). The company has two options: follow the availability, or find a new employee. It looks like they attempted to follow the availability, but failed.

Some have said one of the parents should have found a different job. Unfortunately, most families these days aren't in a position financially to just quit without having another job lined up.

I know with my family, we absolutely *require* both of us working full time to make ends meet.
--
Battle.net Tech Support MVP



urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to jaberi

said by jaberi:

A recent ruling by the Federal Court may have opened the door for Canadian workers to craft their own hours and conditions, regardless of how they would affect their employers.

Some important information that stands out to me in this article:

- This woman and her husband both had jobs working at Pearson International Airport and they didn't like their irregular shifts

- Woman complained

quote:
She was offered stable, part-time work instead and later an adjusted schedule that still did not suit her fancy.
quote:
She took the case to the Human Rights Tribunal, which sided with her. This week, the Federal Court agreed.
The wording may not open the door for a flood of cases:
quote:
The courts and tribunals want to maintain discretion to look at every individual case. But the most important factor in determining undue hardship is probably going to be cost. A large company with more significant financial resources will probably be expected to be more flexible than a small business.
quote:
The onus will remain on the employee to prove they have tried and failed to organize their obligations before seeking accommodation from their employer.
I agree with you jaberi, that this may make affect the hiring of women at larger companies. Canadian society has made great strides towards treating women as equal to me OH, hold on a second, women get to make their own hours after they have kids? Fuck that, I'm only hiring men.


Styvas
Go Canucks Go
Premium
join:2004-09-15
Hamilton, ON
reply to A Lurker

said by A Lurker:

said by Mike2009:

Men have childcare responsibilities as well.

Agreed, but employers don't usually consider that when interviewing. I work with someone who leaves early every Friday to pick up his kids (shared custody). I don't pay specific attention as we don't cover for each other. Also because if I do it would likely piss me off. He works 90 mins a week less than myself and a few other employees. I know it pisses off his closest coworker a lot.

His boss doesn't work in the same city (and I'm sure he knows), however, although he may think he makes up his time by taking shorter lunches, the rest of us at times work through our lunches and don't cut out early. I've seen this way more with women (and I'm sure it affects employer's attitudes when hiring).

Years ago someone told me that the difference between Russian and American motivation was as follows. If an American has 2 cows and his neighbour has 3, the American is motivated to work harder to have the same number as his neighbour or maybe even more. The Russian, in the same scenario, will kill one of their neighbour's cows so that both have the same number.

It seems to me that we have started killing a lot of our neighbours' cows. What changed?

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to jaberi

I used to hire recently separated/divorced guys.
They had no life outside of work, so they'd readily put in 12-14 hours per day programming for a long time.



Styvas
Go Canucks Go
Premium
join:2004-09-15
Hamilton, ON

said by MaynardKrebs:

I used to hire recently separated/divorced guys.
They had no life outside of work, so they'd readily put in 12-14 hours per day programming for a long time.

Yeah, when I was single I'd find myself still at work after 12 or more hours, just puttering away on stuff. Now, I've got a wife and a life and I'm out the door at the end of the work day.

It's a life balance thing, and employers would be wise to recognize that accommodating that balance, even if it means small sacrifices like letting a guy go early to pick up his kids on a Friday, will lead to happier, more productive employees.

Viper359
Premium
join:2006-09-17
Scarborough, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to jaberi

Its people like her that drive me nuts. I am a shift worker, have been one for 15 years, with various employers. Always rotating shiftwork. About 5 years into shift work, my DR and I had a very real conversation about the effects of shiftwork on lifespan, and I needed to make some serious life choices. Which I did. I was floored when he told me that shiftwork, with bad diet, bad sleeping patterns etc can take 10-15 years off your life!!

Every company I have worked for, under a rotating shift work schedule, not only paid a shift premium to us, but was also very flexible with requests to leave a hour early, or arrive an hour late due to medical/dental appointments, child accommodation requests, a certain weekend off, etc. Almost every company I worked for under this sort of work schedule, spent buckets of money to educate us to proper eating and sleeping habits, giving us longer paid breaks on the midnight shift, providing free coffee and even food at some companies, turned a blind eye to things like personal calls at 9pm to say goodnight to your kids etc.

When I see a person like this, it drives me nuts, I feel as if she is trying to take even more!! It is also easier for a shift worker to deal with childcare issues, appointments etc, with enough notice. You can easily do things in the day, that a normal working person cannot. As the general 9-5 worker doesn't usually know how well we are treated at most jobs, unionized or not. I love shift work, because its always changing. You have shifts that are very slow, and give you time to catch up on your work, do other tasks, special projects etc, then you have your busy shifts. No matter what, I chose to be a shift worker at the end of the day.


peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON

She's a CBSA worker what do you expect.


resa1983
Premium
join:2008-03-10
North York, ON
kudos:10
reply to jaberi

I actually find it interesting that they say that smaller companies will have a harder time accommodating requests.

My office is 5 full time employees (including myself). 2 partners, 1 office manager/secretary, 1 jr accountant, 1 sr accountant. And during Jan-April we have 1 intern.

Despite being a small company, they were more than willing & able to accommodate any issues I have with childcare. They know I'll get the work done, despite needing to leave early, or not being able to stay late during tax season.

I would have figured that the larger the company, the more faceless the people are, so they're less likely to give a damn about personal circumstances.
--
Battle.net Tech Support MVP



Styvas
Go Canucks Go
Premium
join:2004-09-15
Hamilton, ON

I would think that companies with an aggressive union would find this more difficult than those with none or with a more flexible one. While unions are focused on the needs of employees, it tends to be more on the collective needs at the expense of individual needs.


Viper359
Premium
join:2006-09-17
Scarborough, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

Having worked in both unionized and non-union environments, I found them pretty much the same. It usually depends on each companies motto about employee's and corporate responsibility. At least from my experience. I had a 9-5 boss, who was responsible for all shift workers, total meathead, didn't want to give a inch, had no clue about anything other than the 9-5 operations, but, an HR director who was all about employees, work life balance, and healthy work places, and would frequently tell this director to go fly a kite.



nitzguy
Premium
join:2002-07-11
Sudbury, ON
reply to resa1983

said by resa1983:

I actually find it interesting that they say that smaller companies will have a harder time accommodating requests.

My office is 5 full time employees (including myself). 2 partners, 1 office manager/secretary, 1 jr accountant, 1 sr accountant. And during Jan-April we have 1 intern.

Despite being a small company, they were more than willing & able to accommodate any issues I have with childcare. They know I'll get the work done, despite needing to leave early, or not being able to stay late during tax season.

I would have figured that the larger the company, the more faceless the people are, so they're less likely to give a damn about personal circumstances.

...I believe they are referring to a "Duty to accomodate" reference as part of Human rights.

Big companies can shell out big bucks (especially government agencies)...I can only imagine what will happen at my work...oy vey I can see it now...

Although I feel like its discrimination because I don't have custody of my child does that mean that I have to go through the rigors of shiftwork that truly sucks?

I don't know...anywho...interesting to see how this plays out.

dragonfly

join:2012-09-04
reply to jaberi

I have the feeling this will mostly come down to giving a few "family obligation days" a year and being flexible around shift scheduling to allow for picking kids up at daycare afterwards. Hardly world-ending things. Every employer should be required to accommodate this stuff.



Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to urbanriot

said by urbanriot:

I agree with you jaberi, that this may make affect the hiring of women at larger companies. Canadian society has made great strides towards treating women as equal to me OH, hold on a second, women get to make their own hours after they have kids? Fuck that, I'm only hiring men.

So then when a man leaves early or requests a scheduling accommodation to care for his kids, it's all fine and dandy? Are you saying it is only a problem when a woman does it? You are aware that in this modern world we live in, child rearing is typically a shared responsibility between both parents, not just the woman in the relationship, right?

You might want to clarify your position.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to peterboro

said by peterboro:

She's a CBSA worker what do you expect.

I thought I'd just throw out there that there are plenty of CBSA employees who for whatever reason will find any excuse they can muster to get some sort of schedule accommodation rather than being stuck with shift work. "Stress" is the most obvious and popular one thrown around. Can't handle shift work? Claim "stress" and you're working 9-5 and someone else gets screwed over holding the bag.

The internals of that organization are so dysfunctional on so many levels that I wouldn't even know where to begin.

dragonfly

join:2012-09-04
reply to jaberi

At my company, half the time it's the men taking off a bit early to pick up their kids or staying home because one is sick, not the woman.


Viper359
Premium
join:2006-09-17
Scarborough, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to resa1983

I think that comment is geared more towards small shiftwork companies. 24/7 operations. Plumbers, electricians, elevator mechanics, convenience stores, gas stations etc.

Even then, I am not sure this will have any wide reaching implications, as this could be total bull, and just perceived, rather than truth, but from all my years, in several industries, I have found shift workers for a large part, are still male dominated. Of course, there are females, but, if I made a guess, I would say 90% male, 10% female, with exceptions of course, like nurses, police dispatchers etc.

The reason I say this might not have any major implication is because, from my experience, with shiftwork still being male dominated, its more of a suck it up and deal with it mentality.


dragonfly

join:2012-09-04

said by Viper359:

The reason I say this might not have any major implication is because, from my experience, with shiftwork still being male dominated, its more of a suck it up and deal with it mentality.

Watch that start to change, and it should.

Viper359
Premium
join:2006-09-17
Scarborough, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

I hope you are right! I still work with guys who will come to work with a full blown case of the flu, and they think its fine because they have to be at work, because that's just the way it is, their daddy did it, and they have to as well. Drives me nuts.

Its lost on them that they are not as productive, and sometimes, others have to help pick up their slack, and, they make the rest of us sick, slowing us down, or worse, causing many to call in sick. If they just stayed home!

Like I said, suck it up. URG



urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to Gone

said by Gone:

You might want to clarify your position.

There's no position to clarify, it's not my position - I'm referring to the societal effects of such decisions. Men hardly ever do what you're referring to.

There are already plenty of large companies with hiring policies to to avoid hiring women in certain age groups for exactly these reasons or only hire them into certain positions that currently have a high turnaround rate. When you get to second or third round interviews that involve the people that need to position filled, you'll hear plenty of interesting questions where you'll wonder, "why are they asking that!?" They're doing it to establish how reliable you'll be for them. Asking a person if they're in a stable relationship is a question I've heard many times.

Some medium sized businesses like Canadian Tire Financial can handle and do handle it just fine. Some larger businesses, like GE, they tout their fair employment practices and in all my encounters they support them well. But there are equally just as many companies where words are used to ensure that human resources can only provide candidates that meet specific criteria that a pregnancy would disrupt.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

So in other words, you admit that you and everyone else shares the same sexist view toward childcare that only women would ever require a schedule modification to take care of their kids. Gotcha.



urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable

said by Gone:

So in other words, you admit that you and everyone else shares the same sexist view toward childcare that only women would ever require a schedule modification to take care of their kids. Gotcha.

You got it wrong and you're going out of your way to have a little hissyfit about what I didn't write.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4

Hissyfit? Naw. I'm just pointing out that your view is a bit more one-sided than you think, and my hope is to broaden your perspective on the issue.

There are plenty of men at the CBSA who go on parental leave and have modified schedules to take care of their kids. Based on your own post, you seem to have this view that schedule modifications for children would only ever affect women and that despite their "strives" they have somehow now become less employable by this federal court ruling.

One should remember that this is 2013, not 1963. Society has moved to a point where raising children is an equal responsibility. To believe that only women would be affected by a ruling like this is in of itself the very sexism that you believe they would now be subject to as a result of it. That may not have been your intention, but that's certainly the end result.



A Lurker
that's Ms Lurker btw
Premium
join:2007-10-27
Wellington N
reply to Styvas

said by Styvas:

It's a life balance thing, and employers would be wise to recognize that accommodating that balance, even if it means small sacrifices like letting a guy go early to pick up his kids on a Friday, will lead to happier, more productive employees.

It's not that employers shouldn't accomodate people. I have hourly guys who report to me (days & afternoons) and within reason I'm willing to play around with in early/late, make up time, etc. As long as I'm not behind the gun on something I'm pretty flexible. I'm also one of the few dept. managers that never has an issue getting people to stay / work extra etc. I suspect that the flexibility and a good relationship gets me the second part.

Generally the problem comes with salaried employees is that give and take isn't evenly applied. It's not unusual in my case to work extra hours (here in the plant) and I usually answer customer inquiries if they come in at night. If I'm watching TV it helps me the next day if I answer right away. From time to time (if schedule permits) I'll cut out early on a Friday. (I should note that early for me is basically after everyone has left, but technically before my quitting time.) However, I've never said 'I didn't take a lunch' so I'm going home early. If they did that for one person, why not all?

I'd be willing to bet (no matter how few employees) that there's always one salaried person who comes in just a few minutes late and runs out the door on the clock. Not likely for any good reason, but just because they get away with it. I've worked with many women and men with kids, and it's always just one person. I know where I was working a couple of years ago enough people took advantage of bad weather days that suddenly everyone had to make up time. Some people could work at home (which they had been doing) and were told that they couldn't.


urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to Gone

said by Gone:

There are plenty of men at the CBSA who go on parental leave and have modified schedules to take care of their kids.

You're not pointing anything out, only manufacturing a story. Feel free to bleet our your opinions on equality or "life at the CBSA" for the thread, but it's irrelevant for you to point this bluster in my direction.

I was referring to Canadian society when I said "men hardly ever do what you're referring to" not the CBSA and that wasn't an opinion, it's an experience.

If you can pull a statistic out of your ass that suggests men equally take as much time off as women for pregnancy or parental leave, then maybe you could dispute that aspect of my post.

However else you want to erroneously interpret what I write, well, that's your issue more than mine


noemails

@bell.ca
reply to Viper359

pay them sick days then. if it costs me 20 percent of my take home to stay at home.....im going to work with the sniffles if you get a cold or the rest of the office does maybe it makes sense for the company to look at paid sick leave



dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
reply to urbanriot

i got from your post exactly what i also see...by far, woman take mat leave...yes, some men do take paternity leave, but i have only known/seen a small few do that...i never inferred from your post that its a woman's job to stay home and raise the baby and the men should stay at work.