10 October 2018

Law 62: Religious accommodation [guidelines] falls to public agencies, Quebec says


QUEBEC — Public organizations across the province will have to designate accommodations officers who will handle requests for religious accommodations under the province’s new state neutrality act ... 

Ultimately, if the person seeking an accommodation, such as a day off for religious reasons or to wear a turban or hijab while working as a police officer, [is denied] they are fully entitled to appeal it to the Quebec Human Rights Commission ... 

Under questioning [the justice minister] agreed the guidelines means a school board in Gaspé could have different rules from one in Montreal ... 

• The request must result from the application of Section 10 of the Quebec Charter of Rights and freedoms [q.v.]• The request must be serious, in other words based on a sincere belief that is part of the applicant’s faith or religious belief.• The request must be consistent with the right to equality of women and men and the right of every person to be treated without discrimination based on race, colour, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, civil status, age, religion, political convictions, language, ethnic or national origin, social condition and handicap.• The accommodation requested must be consistent with the principle of state neutrality.• The accommodation must be reasonable in that it does not impose undue hardship with regard to the rights of others, public health and safety.• The person making the request must have cooperated in seeking a solution that meets the criterion of reasonableness.

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