Discriminatory to provide birth mothers same amount of top-up benefits as birth fathers, adoptive parents
In a rare oral judgment that was issued on November 12, 2014 - British Columbia Teachers' Federation v. British Columbia Public School Employers' Association, 2014 SCC 70 - the Supreme Court of Canada overturned a decision by the BC Court of Appeal and restored the decision of a labour arbitrator concerning top-up benefits provided to teachers who are new parents.
The labour arbitrator, John B. Hall, had ruled that it was discriminatory - under section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code - to provide the same amount of top-up benefits to birth mothers as birth fathers and adoptive parents.
Specifically, Arbitrator Hall had ruled: read more »
On July 14, 2014 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") released updated guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues. Their press release is as follows:
EEOC Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance On Pregnancy Discrimination And Related Issues
Fact Sheet for Small Businesses and Question and Answer Document Also Released
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues, along with a question and answer document about the guidance and a Fact Sheet for Small Businesses. The Enforcement Guidance, Q&A document, and Fact Sheet will be available on the EEOC's website. read more »
Federal Court of Appeal lays out test for family status discrimination as it relates to childcare matters
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 »
The law firm of Cassels Brock & Blackwell has issued their, "Top 10 Employment And Labour Law Cases In 2013".
The cases on their list are set below. Note: the summaries with the cases are mostly my word-for-word cut and paste's from the original article:
1. Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, Local 30 v. Irving Pulp & Paper, Ltd., 2013 SCC 34
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that random alcohol testing in the workplace is prohibited unless the employer can prove that, in addition to having a dangerous workplace, there are other pressing factors such as an overt substance abuse problem in the workplace.
2. Pate Estate v. Harvey (Township), 2013 ONCA 669
The Ontario Court of Appeal agreed that the Township employer had severely mistreated the dismissed employee, but reduced the punitive damages award from $550,000 to $450,000. read more »
Female employee was participant / instigator of crude, ongoing sexual banter; harassment complaint dismissed
In Kafer v. Sleep Country Canada and another (No. 2), 2013 BCHRT 289, the BC Human Rights Tribunal ruled that a female employee was participant in, and instigator of, crude and ongoing sexual banter and therefore dismissed her sexual harassment complaint against her employer, Sleep Country Canada.
In reaching this conclusion, the Tribunal Member stated the following:
 The Supreme Court of Canada has defined sexual harassment as "unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that detrimentally affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the victims of the harassment": Janzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd. (1989), 10 C.H.R.R. D/6205 at D/6227.
 In Mahmoodi v. University of British Columbia,  B.C.R.T.D. No. 52 (Q.L.) the Tribunal set out the test for whether conduct is unwelcome. It stated: read more »