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Your rights at work

Mrs. Chantal LeBlanc

Mrs. Chantal LeBlanc has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Social Sciences from Concordia University as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from McGill University. She received a Master’s degree in Social Work from McGill University in 2009. Mrs. LeBlanc has been a professional social worker for 22 years, including 3 years in a clinical supervisory role. Her clinical practice has encompassed the areas of home care for elderly people as well as adults with physical and intellectual impairments. For the past 6 years, she has practiced in the field of oncology at the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal.

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Ms. Bonnie Tompkins

Ms. Bonnie Tompkins was the sole caregiver to her late partner, who passed away from cancer in May 2014. She recently graduated in public health from Brock University and now works with her local hospice to help increase access to needed assistance for patient and their caregivers. She is especially interested in caregivers, as she suffered caregiver burnout. Her passion is to use her late partner’s and her own experiences to help people in similar situations, hopefully lessening their stress.

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It may be helpful to know what your rights are at work to better advocate for your rights and obligations. Human rights laws in Canada prohibit discrimination based on the ground of family status. The courts have determined that family status extends to a person’s family caregiving responsibilities. This means that when you must care for a family member, your employer has a legal obligation to accommodate you as an employee.

Caregivers have found that flexible work arrangements that enable them to take care of a family member and continue to do their work has been one of the most helpful job accommodations. Be aware that employers can invoke undue hardship in certain circumstances if the work accommodations required would cost too much or creates risks to health and safety. For more information, consult our undue hardship section.

If you want to find more about how human rights applies to caregivers in your province, please consult the legal resources on human rights in your province or consult a lawyer.