Don’t fear family status (Editor’s Notes)

Over the years, accommodating employees for family obligations has become commonplace
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/11/2013

The first time I heard the phrase “family status,” I didn’t know what it meant. It was 2002, I was editing Canadian Employment Law Today, one of our sister publications, and I was relatively new to covering human resources issues.

But family status certainly wasn’t revolutionary to human rights bodies. Ontario’s Human Rights Code, for example, has included it since 1982.

I had to query the lawyer who had written about it for more information. I knew my first thought had to be wrong — that employers were forbidden from discriminating against employees based on their family’s status in the community. Such a law may have made sense in feudal times but seemed a wee bit out of place in modern Canada.