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Abstract

The duty to accommodate family status has garnered significant attention in recent years due to the changing nature of familial obligations. Courts, tribunals and arbitrators alike have struggled with how to define the concept of family status accommodation, resulting in two conflicting tests. The uneven application of these tests has led to a variance in case law regarding how broadly family status accommodation should be interpreted. This paper will begin by examining the evolution of the duty to accommodate in labour law. The two tests that have divided the Canadian jurisprudence and the subsequent problems that arise from each test will then be examined. This paper will then analyze recent cases that have attempted to combine the two approaches to create a new amalgamated approach. It is proposed that this amalgamated test is the proper test for family status accommodation, as it strikes the appropriate balance between the various competing interests and will not unduly favour the employer or the employee in future family status claims.