Canadian Employment Law Today

April 29, 2015

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian April 29, 2015 Worker wins childcare accommodation, avoids night shift Employer couldn't explain why allowing worker to work straight day shifts couldn't be done BY JEFFREY R. SMITH AN ALBERTA company discriminated against a worker who was a single mother of young children when it refused to accom- modate her request for day shifts only, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench has ruled. SMS Equipment was a supplier of equip- ment and service to the construction, min- ing and petrochemical industries in Fort McMurray, Alta. e worker was a fi rst-year apprentice welder who started employment as a labourer with SMS in November 2010. e worker moved to Fort McMurray from Newfoundland and she had a young son whose father also moved to Fort Mc- Murray but did not live with the worker, though he sometimes cared for the child. In February 2012, the worker gave birth to a second son by a diff erent man. While on maternity leave, she applied for the fi rst- year welder position, which had shifts of "seven days on and seven days off with ro- tating tours of days and nights." She won the job and started the new position in Novem- ber 2012. Shift work and childcare too much After seven days of night shifts, the work- er requested that her tours be changed to straight day shifts since she was fi nding it diffi cult to balance her childcare needs. Injured worker wins 14-year battle over ability to do job pg. 3 Suitability of job determed without modifi cations with Brian Johnston CREDIT: PRESSMASTER/SHUTTERSTOCK Worker's work refusal escalates pg. 4 Suspension for refusing assigned work leads to altercation and dismissal for breach of harassment and violence policy EMPLOYER RULES on page 6 » ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Dismissal of employee on medical leave OTHER WORKERS on page 6 » Air Canada worker deserved suspension, not fi ring AN AIR CANADA employee has had her dismissal for giving a co-worker's mother priority over paying passengers overturned by an adjudicator in favour of a suspension. Magdalena Kaszyca was a customer service manager (CSM) for Air Canada at Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal. Hired in May 2011, Kaszyca was held to the Air Canada code of conduct that required employees to avoid confl icts of interest and to identify them, such as when friends or relatives were involved. Air Canada had an employee air travel benefi t program in which employees could fl y for free and parents of employees could fl y for a service charge of $5 per segment. Employees and parents fl ying under such benefi ts travelled on "stand-by" status, where they could board after all revenue passengers and employees travelling on Air Canada business were boarded. On July 24, 2013, another CSM, Sonya Ventola, asked a manager of employee trav- el to upgrade her mother's status for fl ying to Rome from that of an employee's parent travelling alone to that of travelling with an employee. All fl ights to Rome were full, so the chances of he mother boarding with her current priority were slim. e employee travel manager said Vento- la's mother's priority could only be upgraded if Ventola travelled with her. Ventola, who was at the passenger check-in offi ce, then talked to Kaszyca. Another CSM who was in the check-in offi ce overheard Kaszyca tell Ventola "Leave it to me. I'll take care of everything." According to Kaszyca, she said "I'll see what I can do with the fl ights." Kaszyca then began a verifi cation of the oversell status of the fl ight to Rome. e fl ight was oversold by two seats. For an over- sold fl ight of less than eight, nothing would be done until an announcement prior to de- parture asking for volunteers to give up their seats. However, a few hours before depar- ture, Kaszyca asked a gate employee to make an announcement for volunteers to give up their seats. Kaszyca returned to the custom- er service desk telling the employee to make

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