Ontario employers may now have to consider the needs of their vegan employees and make efforts to accommodate them.

In December, the Ontario Human Rights Commission expanded its definition of a “creed” under the province’s Human Rights Code to include non-religious beliefs which, just like religion, substantially influence one’s identity and lifestyle.

Read: Do employers have to accommodate vegans?

Vegan rights advocates argue this expanded definition now requires employers to accommodate the needs of ethical vegans in the workplace. That could mean ensuring their on-site cafeterias offer foods that are free of dairy, eggs, meat and honey, or changing uniform requirements if a vegan employee refuses to wear leather shoes as part of a uniform.

The issue is the subject of this week’s Benefits Canada online poll. Have your say in the poll.

As for last week’s poll, which asked whether employers should reduce massage coverage in their benefits plan, 26 per cent of respondents said services like massage have become a perk and it’s important to restrict them so drug coverage for serious medical conditions can be prioritized.

Seventy-four per cent said these services shouldn’t be restricted because paramedicals are often key to prevention and promoting better health, and they’ve become an important part of benefits packages.

Read: Should employers reduce massage coverage in their benefits plans?

Copyright © 2020 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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Linda Nelson:

Of course, vegan employees should be accommodated, but companies could actually go further than mere accommodation. They could offer only plant based foods for all of their employees showing concern for vegans, the threat of climate change, sentient animals, and the health of all of their employees. Surely, employees who do eat animal flesh, eggs, and dairy can have that outside of work.

Wednesday, April 13 at 1:52 pm | Reply

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