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Mandatory Retirement

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On December 16, 2011, the Government of Canada repealed the section of the Canadian Human Rights Act that permitted federally regulated employers to impose mandatory retirement in some circumstances.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

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 »

Ontario introduces legislation that, if passed, will impose mandatory retirement at age 60 for salaried firefighters

Jurisdiction: - Ontario

Ontario has introduced legislation that, if passed, will impose mandatory retirement at age 60 for salaried firefighters in certain circumstances.

The Bill was introduced in the Ontario Legislature on April 18, 2011. If passed, it will amend the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.

If you are looking for more information on this topic:  read more »

Can employees over 65 be excluded from benefits?

Can employees over 65 be excluded from benefits?

This is a question that Lindsey Taylor, a lawyer at Fasken Martineau in Vancouver, set out to answer in her article, "Benefits for Older Employees - Can They be Excluded? (April 20, 2011), written for Fasken's HR Space publication.

The article addresses three arbitration awards:  read more »

Pilot at top of Air Canada seniority list files complaint with CIRB over mandatory retirement issue

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

The Globe and Mail has a story today ("A pilot's quest to remain at the top") on the latest chapter of the long-running dispute between Air Canada, the Air Canada Pilots Association ("ACPA") and individual pilots over the airline's mandatory rule. 

There are 3,039 pilots on the seniority list. Michael Ennis, who joined Air Canada in 1972, rose to the top of the list in February 2010.  He turns 60, however, in April of this year and is being forced to retire by the airline.

The ACPA has apparently declined to represent him in this matter, thus prompting him (and two other pilots) to file complaints against the ACPA with the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB) yesterday.

I am presuming that they are duty of fair representation complaints. As stated on the CIRB's website:  read more »

Legislation introduced that would abolish mandatory retirement in most federally regulated workplaces

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

Mandatory retirement policies in most federally regulated workplaces will be abolished if a recently introduced private members bill becomes law.

The bill - Bill C-481, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canada Labour Code (mandatory retirement age) - was introduced by Ms. Raymonde Folco, a Liberal Member of Parliament from Quebec on November 15, 2010.

It passed Second Reading in the House of Commons on December  6, 2010 and is being referred to the Standing Committee on Human Resources at the committee stage of the parliamentary process. If it passes in committee, it will be referred to Third Reading and likely become law.

In the parliamentary debates held so far, Ms. Folco stated that her bill has three main objectives:  read more »

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issues remedies decision in Air Canada pilots mandatory retirement case

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ("CHRT") issued its decision on remedies in the Air Canada pilots mandatory retirement case on November 8, 2010 (Vilven v. Air Canada, 2010 CHRT 27).

In a landmark decision released on August 28, 2009, the CHRT had declared that the age 60 mandatory retirement provisions in Air Canada's pension plan and its collective agreement with the Air Canada Pilots Association ("ACPA") violated the equality provisions in section 15 of the Charter and could not be saved under Section 1 of the Charter.  See my post here.

That decision is now the subject of a judicial review application by the ACPA, which supported the mandatory retirement provisions. See my post here.  read more »

Mandatory retirement decision will cost UPEI in excess of $1 million to implement

Jurisdiction: - Prince Edward Island
Sector: - Education

In October 2009, I wrote about the PEI Human Rights Commission hearing on mandatory retirement at the University of PEI. The complaint had been brought by three former faculty members at the university. The mandatory retirement policy in question forms part of the collective agreement between the university and the faculty association. 

I can now update this case, although it's a few months after the fact.

The university's VP Finance & Facilities, Gary Bradshaw, issued the following statement on the university's website on June 6, 2010:

Update on Mandatory Retirement: Message from VP Finance & Facilities  read more »

Air Canada pilot who was forced to retire at age 60 not satisfied with terms of reinstatement

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

I wrote about the Vilven mandatory retirement case in an August 2009 entry and a September 2009 entry.

Briefly, Mr. Vilven is a pilot with Air Canada who, along with another pilot, was forced to retire at age 60. The pilots responded by filing a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ("CHRT"). The CHRT allowed their complaint in a ruling that calls into question whether it is still permissible for any federally regulated organization to have a mandatory retirement policy. The Air Canada Pilots Association, the pilots' union which supports age 60 mandatory retirement, subsequently filed a judicial review application of the CHRT's ruling.

There was a very short article in today's Globe and Mail newspaper ("Senior Air Canada pilots allege age discrimination") updating this story. According to the article:  read more »