Federal court rules employers must accommodate workers’ child-care needs

The Canadian Press/CTV News

TORONTO — Canada’s federal court has ruled that employers must try to accommodate the family obligations of their staff.

The ruling concerns the case of Fiona Johnston, who worked rotating shifts with the Canada Border Services Agency at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport before having her first child.

Johnston argued the agency refused to accommodate her request for more stable hours, which would have allowed her to arrange for child care. Her case went before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, which found the agency had discriminated against Johnston on grounds of family status.

The federal court ruling by justice Leonard Mandamin upheld the tribunal’s findings.

Mandamin says requests for child-care accommodations stem from legitimate needs and are not simply the result of lifestyle choices.