The Committee's mandate includes, but is not limited to,
taking legislative action to address wage disparities between men
and women in the Canadian work force. The Committee also will
consider current provincial legislative regimes on pay equity,
namely in Ontario and Québec, and may seek to implement the
2004 Pay Equity Task Force Report which urges the government to
formally recognize pay equity as a fundamental human right
protected by law. The Committee must report to the House of Commons
by June 10th of this year.
What does this mean for federal employers? There is certainly a
very real possibility that proactive federal pay equity legislation
will be passed at some point in the next four years. However, there
is presently an opportunity for federally regulated employers to
take a good look at what is and isn't working in the provincial
systems and provide input to the Committee to ensure that mistakes
are not repeated.
We will continue to follow this evolving and important issue and
inform employers of any legal implications it may have on them in
the coming future.
Written with the assistance of Stéphane Erickson,
articling student in Ottawa.
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Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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