Alberta Human Rights Tribunal Decision Reinstates Reinstatement

Alberta Human Rights Tribunal Decision Reinstates Reinstatement

Photo: flickr/Bill Burris

By Linda McKay-Panos

Reposted from ABlawg with permission.

Case Commented On:  Pratt v University of Alberta, 2019 AHRC 24 (CanLII)

While it has always been legally possible for an employer to be ordered to reinstate an employee after there has been a finding of discrimination, recent tribunals and courts have been reluctant to award this remedy. However, the Pratt case may open the doors again to this possibility in some circumstances.

Read More

Freedom of Expression at Canadian Universities: A difficult compromise?

Freedom of Expression at Canadian Universities: A difficult compromise?

Photo: flickr/Gary Todd

By Linda McKay-Panos

Reposted from 43(6) LawNow with permission.

Recently, Ontario’s Premier Doug Ford passed a new policy that Ontario universities should adopt free-speech policies, or face receiving less money from the Government. The policies must meet “a minimum standard prescribed by government.”

Read More

When can the Right to Freedom of Expression be Curtailed?

When can the Right to Freedom of Expression be Curtailed?

Photo: flickr/B Dungeon

By Myrna El Fakhry Tuttle

Reposted from 43(6) LawNow with permission.

The right to express our opinions is a crucial element of a democracy. Freedom of expression is a basic characteristic of personal development. It gives us the right to dissent and the right to be heard. We can make our own choices about our basic beliefs by being exposed to different thoughts and opinions (see: Fundamental Freedoms: Freedom of Expression). Freedom of expression has been recognized as essential in international and national laws.

Read More

At What Stage does the Duty of Self-Accommodation Arise in a Discrimination Analysis?

At What Stage does the Duty of Self-Accommodation Arise in a Discrimination Analysis?

Photo: flickr/Cristian Ungureanu

By Sahani Samarappuli

Reposted from ABlawg with permission.

Case Commented On: United Nurses of Alberta v Alberta Health Services2019 ABQB 255 (CanLII)

As noted in previous posts (see here), the definition of discrimination on the basis of family status has been extended recently to include recognition of childcare responsibilities (see e.g. Canada (Attorney General) v Johnstone, 2014 FCA 110 (CanLII)SMS Equipment v Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, 2015 ABQB 162 (CanLII), both cases discussed below). However, the point at which employers’ duty to accommodate is triggered remains controversial. In particular, the question remains as to how a complainant’s duty of self-accommodation should be dealt with in the discrimination analysis.

Read More

Human Rights and Extradition Law

Human Rights and Extradition Law

Photo: flickr/thierry ehrmann

By Linda McKay-Panos

Reposted from LawNow 43(4) with permission.

Recently, extradition has been front and centre in our news cycle (see: CBC, January 22, 2019 “China accuses U.S., Canada of abusing extradition in Huawei case”). There are very important human rights aspects to the process of extradition. These are critical to our democracy and the rule of law. For example, if another nation involved in the extradition seeks to punish or otherwise persuade Canada by imprisoning Canadians, this is not respectful of the rule of law and cannot affect how we perform the extradition process.

Read More

Disabilities and Addiction in the Workplace

Disabilities and Addiction in the Workplace

Photo: flickr/Patsincharco

By Myrna El Fakhry Tuttle

Reposted from LawNow 43(5) with permission.

Employee alcohol and drug addictions in the workplace can be very difficult issues for employers to manage. Addiction is recognized as a mental disability, which means that employers cannot automatically terminate employees because of their addiction. On the contrary, employers are required to accommodate those employees to the point of undue hardship.

Read More

State Neutrality Does Not Always Result in Substantive Equality

State Neutrality Does Not Always Result in Substantive Equality

Photo: flickr/Tim Henderschott

By Linda McKay-Panos

Reposted from LawNow 43(5) with permission.

Recently, Quebec Premier François Legault’s government introduced Bill 21 (An Act Respecting the Laicity [Secularism] of the State). Among other things, the Act prohibits public workers in positions of authority (e.g., teachers, police officers, prison guards, Crown prosecutors, government lawyers and judges) from wearing religious symbols (not defined in the Act, but presumably would include turbans, kippahs, crucifixes, hijabs, clerical collars, etc.).

Read More

Privacy and Medical Information in the Workplace

Privacy and Medical Information in the Workplace

Photo: flickr/[Alana Post]

By Myrna El Fakhry Tuttle

Reposted from LawNow 43(4) with permission.

Requesting medical information from employees may raise privacy issues. Employees have the right to keep their medical information confidential and private. But employers also have the right to know about their employees’ illness or disability, and have the right to seek medical information in order to provide appropriate accommodation. So, how can we balance the two?

Read More