The Alberta Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in employment based on family status. Family status is defined in the Act as "being related to another person by blood, marriage or adoption." An employer is required to provide accommodation to the point of undue hardship in situations where family status substantially interferes with an employee's ability to perform the duties of the position. This requirement is limited to situations where the employee's family responsibilities exceed the ordinary level. For example, an employer normally is not required to accommodate the request by an employee to simply stay home with an ill child, but would be required to accommodate an employee's search for alternative childcare. In a situation where a child with a disability needs unique personal care when ill, an employer would be required to accommodate to the point of undue hardship a parent's expressed need to stay home and provide direct care to the child.
For more information, see:
Commission information sheet Family status and marital status
Commission information sheet Employment: Duty to accommodate
Commission interpretive bulletin Duty to accommodate
Revised: February 5, 2010
The Alberta Human Rights Commission is an independent commission of the Government of Alberta.
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