Walmart Canada upholds unique family status needs of employee

TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - Walmart Canada recently recognized the unique family status of one of its associates who is the sole caregiver for a severely disabled family member. Walmart's work scheduling requirements had conflicted with the associates' exceptional situation.

Both the associate and Walmart Canada agreed to an order from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario that allows CD to work specific times on weekdays when she is not required to attend to the unique needs of her family member. The arrangement provides appropriate scheduling flexibility to enable CD to meet Walmart's work scheduling requirements in a manner that is fair to both CD and her fellow associates at the store.

"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with CD," said Andrew Pelletier, Walmart Canada's Vice-President of Corporate Affairs. "Our corporate culture is one of respect. We believe that when an associate is faced with unique family obligations like those of CD, who is the sole caregiver for a severely disabled family member, it is important to provide the right work environment."

Under Ontario's Human Rights Code, employers have a legal obligation to accommodate the special needs of employees to meet pressing family obligations where those employees can demonstrate a necessary obligation to care for family members.

"Our client is very happy with the outcome and relieved to be able to continue both her work and her demanding care obligations," said Beth Walden, CD's lawyer from the Human Rights Legal Support Centre.

CD has requested anonymity from the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario out of consideration for her family member.

Walmart Canada operates a growing chain of 317 stores, serving more than one million Canadians each day. With more than 80,000 associates, the company is Canada's third-largest employer. In 2009, Walmart Canada's corporate culture was ranked among the 10 most admired corporate cultures in Canada by Waterstone Human Capital Inc.

The Human Rights Legal Support Centre provides legal assistance to people in communities across Ontario who have experienced discrimination contrary to the Ontario Human Rights Code, and may want to file an Application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.

SOURCE Human Rights Legal Support Centre

For further information: For further information: or to arrange interviews: Susan Schutta, Walmart Canada Corp., (905) 821-2111 ext. 8012; Jennifer Ramsay, Human Rights Legal Support Centre, (416) 326-7253, mobile: (416) 522-5931

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