Lior Samfiru on accommodating working parents

A headshot of Ottawa employment lawyer Lior Samfiru next to the logos for Samfiru Tumarkin LLP and Ottawa radio station Newstalk 580 CFRA.

Interview Summary

Employees continue to work remotely across the province of Ontario as health and safety measures remain in place due to COVID-19. For working parents, however, working from home has its own challenges. How can employers accommodate working parents’ needs? What rights do parents with no access to childcare have in regards to their workplace?

Lior Samfiru, an employment lawyer and co-founding Partner at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP joins Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Leslie Roberts to answer these questions and more.

Interview Notes

How can employers accommodate working parents?

Employers can permit employees to work remotely, offer flexible hours or possibly change full-time hours to part-time in order to accommodate an employee’s childcare needs.

Are employees being given preferential treatment and more rights than employers?

In most common law provinces, employment law tends to favour the rights of an employee. While employers are obligated to accommodate an employee’s needs, there are limits, to expectations from an employer.

What does the recent court decision mean for employees who have been temporarily laid off?

A recent Superior Court ruled that despite the pandemic and the Infectious Disease Emergency Leave in place, employees who have been temporarily laid off by their employers can treat the layoff as a termination. Employees do not have to consent to the layoff and can choose to pursue their severance entitlements.

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How often do wrongful dismissal cases go to court?

It is a long process to go to court and typically issues surrounding severance are usually resolved amicably.

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