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Canadian Human Rights Act

Top 10 most significant employment law cases in Canada for women

In light of International Women's Day back on March 8, 2015, Legal Feeds, the Blog for Canadian Lawyer & Law Times published a list of the most significant court decisions for women in the workplace over the last 25 year, as compiled by the lawyers at Rubin Thomlinson LLP in Ontario. Here is the firm's top 10 list:  read more »

Should "obesity" be a prohibited ground of discrimination in Canadian human rights legislation?

The National Post newspaper ran a story today ("Obese Canadians should be granted legal protection from discrimination, professor says") which discussed whether obese people should be protected from discrimination in Canadian human rights legislation.

The article noted that this could be achieved in a few different ways. First, obesity could be treated as a "disability", which is already a recognized ground in human rights legislation. As it relates to this approach, the article noted theat:  read more »

CP Railway CEO says company will challenge arbitrator’s order to reinstate "cocaine-using" locomotive engineer

Here's an interesting news release that Canadian Pacific Railway Limited issued on July 16, 2014 concerning an arbitrator's decision to order an employee re-instated:

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (TSX/NYSE: CP) announced today it will be asking the Superior Court of Quebec to stay a July 14, 2014 decision by the Canadian Railway Office of Arbitration (CROA), which ruled a locomotive engineer, who consumed cocaine at a time and of a quantity which could impact his duties, must be reinstated.

CP also announced it will be appealing the agency's order to the Superior Court of Quebec asking it to overturn the decision.  read more »

Federal Court of Appeal lays out test for family status discrimination as it relates to childcare matters

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Federal Court of Appeal ("FCA") issued two decisions on May 2, 2014, in which it laid out the test for family status discrimination as it relates to childcare matters. Subject to a further appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, this test is binding on federally regulated employers. The two cases are:  read more »

"Elder care" recognized under "family status" protection for first time by Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In Hicks v. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2013 CHRT 20, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal recognized "elder care" under the "family status" protection for first time.

Canadian Human Rights Commission "Cautions Employers on Rights of Aging Workers"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The Canadian Human Rights Commission issued a news release on March 26, 2012 that "Cautions Employers on Rights of Aging Workers". The release reads:

On December 16, 2011, the Government of Canada repealed the section of the Canadian Human Rights Act that permitted federally regulated employers to impose mandatory retirement in some circumstances.

This measure was included in the Budget Implementation Act, which also stipulated a one-year transition period before the repeal of section 15 (1) (c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act takes effect.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission has received inquiries and is aware of media commentary about employers seeking to take advantage of the transition period to force employees to retire before they are ready to. While there is no evidence that this is taking place, the Commission believes it is prudent to caution any employer that might be considering such action to think again.  read more »

Class action filed against RCMP: Lawsuit alleges widespread sexual discrimination and harassment

Jurisdiction: - All
Sector: - Public Safety

The following news release was issued on March 27, 2012 by law firms Klein Lyons, a law firm with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, and / or Watkins Law, a law firm in Thunder Bay, Ontario:

CLASS ACTION FILED AGAINST RCMP
Lawsuit Alleges Widespread Sexual Discrimination and Harassment

VANCOUVER, March 27, 2012-A class action lawsuit was filed today in the B.C. Supreme Court against the R.C.M.P. on behalf of female employees of the RCMP. The suit, filed by former RCMP constable Janet Merlo, alleges widespread systemic discrimination by the RCMP against female members, civilian members and civil service employees.  read more »

Federal government abolishes mandatory retirement except where it is bona fide occupational requirement

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The federal government has abolished mandatory retirement in federally regulated workplaces except where it is a bona fide occupational requirement ("BFOR").

For more on this development, see:

And this is the text of a news release issued by the Canadian Human Rights Commission on December 16, 2011:

Government of Canada Strikes Down Mandatory Retirement  read more »