Family status is defined in the Alberta Human Rights Act as "the status of 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 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 a sick 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. You can read more about the duty to accommodate and undue hardship.
Commission information sheet Family status and marital status
Commission information sheet Employment: Duty to accommodate
Commission interpretive bulletin Duty to accommodate
Revised: December 16, 2009
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