Carolyn Johnston discusses new job protected leaves including
family caregiver leave, critically ill child care leave and
crime-related child death or disappearance leave as part of the
Torkin Manes LegalPoint Video Series.
In October, 2014, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Leaves
to Help Families), 2014 came into force. This amended the Ontario
Employment Standards Act to ADD three new job-protected leaves.
In addition to the leaves already protected under the Act, which
includes Personal Emergency, Pregnancy, Parental, Family Medical,
Organ Donor Leave, among others,
the Employment Standards Act now includes:
1. Family Caregiver Leave
2. Critically Ill Child Care Leave and
3. the Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance Leave
Q. What are these different types of
Family Caregiver Leave provides an employee Up
to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to provide care or
support to a family member with a serious medical condition.
Critically Ill Child Care Leave provides an
employee who is a parent up to 37 weeks of unpaid, job-protected
leave to provide care to a critically ill child.
Crime-Related Child Death or Disappearance
Leave provides an employee who is a parent with unpaid,
job-protected leave whose child is missing or has died as a result
of a crime.
In conjunction with these 2 new leaves under the Employment
Standards Act, 2000, employers should be mindful of their
obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code with
respect to accommodating family status needs.
Employers must accommodate a employee's family status
related needs up to the point of undue hardship with respect to
caring for a child or parent.
So, this really means that you really need to seek legal advice
if any kind of termination is being considered in these
The ministry has also developed a medical certificate document
that can be used for family caregiver leave, critically ill child
care leave and/or family medical leave.
Q. What are the consequences?
Failing to provide an employee with a statutory protected leave
of absence will result in a breach of the Employment Standards Act.
This may result in costly legal proceedings and potentially damages
against your business.
If you have any questions about these protected leaves or your
businesses obligations under the Employment Standards Act or Human
Rights Code please contact me.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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