Posts tagged: accomodation

AODA Update: New Regulation Taking Effect July 1, 2016

By , June 27, 2016 11:56 pm

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (“AODA”) is constantly changing. So when there has been yet another change to AODA it takes all of my energy not to cover my ears and yell “LAH, LAH, LAH” at the top of my lungs.

Employment Standards Regulation: January 1, 2017

The most important amendment to AODA that applies to employers with 1 to 49 employees takes effect on January 1, 2017. For a description of our compliance service in connection with the Employment Standards Regulation, click here.

Ontario Regulation 165/16: July 1, 2016

Before the Employment Standards takes effect, however, another regulation – O. Reg. 165/16 – will take effect on or about July 1, 2016. It will consolidate all of the accessibility standards in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation. Thereafter both small (1 to 49 employees) and large (Over 50 employees) organizations will be required to do the following:

Changes to AODA Requirements

  1. Training– currently, organizations are only required to provide customer service training to employees and volunteers who deal with third parties, and those who participate in developing the organization’s policies. However, the new regulation will require organizations to, as soon as practicable, train: (a) all employees and volunteers; (b) every person who participates in developing the organization’s policies; and (c) every other person who provides goods, services or facilities on behalf of the organization.
  2. Documenting policies, practices and procedures – currently, organizations with 20 or more employees must “document” their customer service policies, practices and procedures, and make a copy of that document available on request. However, when this regulation takes effect, this requirement will only apply to organizations with 50 or more employees. In other words, organizations with 20 to 49 employees are no longer required to document their customer service policies, practices and procedures.

Besides documenting their customer service policies, practices and procedures, large organizations must also (a) notify persons to whom it provides goods, services or facilities that the document which describes the organization’s policies, practices and procedures is available upon request; and (b) prepare a document that describes the organization’s training policy, summarizes the content of the training and specifies when the training is to be provided. Both documents must be provided to any person upon request.

All organizations with 20 or more employees must confirm their compliance with the above requirements by submitting an accessibility compliance report by no later than December 31, 2017.

Lesson to Be Learned

We recommend that you review and update all of your organization’s AODA policies, practices and procedures to ensure you are in compliance with the upcoming changes.

MacLeod Law Firm Update

I am very pleased to announce that I have hired Nadia Halum as our newest associate lawyer. She articled for us this past year. Please join me in welcoming Nadia to our firm. She can be reached at (647) 985-9894 or [email protected]


For over 25 years, Doug MacLeod of the MacLeod Law Firm has been advising employers on all aspects of the employment relationship. If you have any questions, you can contact him at 416 317-9894 or at [email protected]

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Family Status Accommodations – for times when babies need tending and parents need mending (Part II)

By , May 9, 2014 7:04 pm

Family Status: The Fiona Johnstone decision

On May 2, 2014 the Federal Court of Appeal released a decision which considered an employer’s duty to modify an employee’s hours to accommodate the employee’s childcare obligations; i.e. an employee’s family status.

Fiona Johnstone and her husband worked a 56-day schedule at Pearson International Airport. They had a young child. During each 56-day schedule the couple rotated through six different start times over the course of days, afternoons, and evenings with no predictable pattern, and they worked different days of the week throughout the duration of the schedule. Each employee was given 15 days notice of each new shift schedule, subject to the employer’s discretion to change the schedule on five days’ notice.

Not surprisingly, the Johnstones could not find childcare that would work around their schedules. Ms. Johnstone could however arrange childcare for three 13 hour days per week. The employer refused her request for accommodation and offered her part-time hours that resulted in substantially fewer benefits and pension.

She filed a human rights complaint arguing that the employer should have modified her schedule to accommodate her child care needs.

In this case, the Federal Court of Appeal outlined a four part test that an employee must satisfy when seeking family status accommodation; namely:

(i)             that a child is under the employee’s care and supervision;

(ii)           that the childcare obligation at issue engages the individual’s legal responsibility for that child, as opposed to a personal choice;

(iii)         that the employee has made reasonable efforts to meet those childcare obligations through reasonable alternative solutions, and that no such alternative solution is reasonably accessible, and

(iv)           that the impugned workplace rule interferes in a manner that is more than trivial or insubstantial with the fulfillment of the childcare obligation.

This court explicitly rejected the British Columbia’s Court of Appeal’s approach to this issue so two court of appeals disagree on this issue. The federal government has not announced whether it intends to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

This decision applies to federally regulated employees. The Ontario courts will likely consider this decision when deciding similar cases because the section of the Canadian Human Rights Act that was considered is virtually identical to a section in Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

For a summary of the three different legal approaches to accommodating an employee on the basis of family status in Canada, click here.

 If you have any questions about responding to employee requests for accommodation because of family status, please contact the MacLeod Law Firm at 1 (888) 640-1728 or at [email protected].




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