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Canada/Federal

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 »

"Social Media: Opportunities and Limitations in the Workplace"

"Social Media: Opportunities and Limitations in the Workplace" (December 19, 2010) is the title of a recent paper by Carman J. Overholt, Q.C. and Emily Pitcher. Mr Overholt is a lawyer at Fraser Milner Casgrain in Vancouver and Ms. Pitcher is a student at law. 

"Anti-Bullying Legislation"

Robyn Durling of the BC Human Rights Coalition prepared a paper on, "Anti-Bullying Legislation", for the Human Rights Conference (Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia) in November 2010.

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 »

Tribunal orders CNR to reinstate three female employees who declined transfers because they had young children

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal issued three companion decisions last week in which they ordered the Canadian National Railway to reinstate three female employees who had been terminated when they declined temporary transfers from Jasper, Alberta to Vancouver, BC because they had young children.

The Tribunal found that the employees had been discriminated against on the basis of "family status".

CNR was also required to pay damages for lost earnings, pain and suffering and wilful and reckless conduct.

The decisions are:  read more »

Split three-judge panel of Ontario Divisional Court upholds decision to not certify CIBC overtime class action

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In a decision issued on September 10, 2010 - Fresco v. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, 2010 ONSC 4724 - a split three-judge panel of the Ontario Divisional Court upheld the decision of an Ontario Superior Court motion judge to not certify an overtime class action against CIBC.

It looks like the Ontario Divisional Court's decision will now be further appealed to the Ontario Court of Appeal. See this case summary - "Ontario Court Affirms Decision Denying Certification in CIBC Overtime Action" (September 17, 2010) -  by law firm Torys.

My two posts on the original June 2009 decision by the motions judge can be found here and here.

Discrimination based on "family status" where Canada Border Services refused to modify schedule for mother of two

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In a decision issued last month - Johnstone v. Canada Border Services, 2010 CHRT 20 - the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ("CHRT") found discrimination based on "family status" where Canada Border Services refused to modify the work schedule for an employee who was the mother of two young children but who wanted to still have full-time hours.

The decision re-affirms that the scope of "family status" in human rights legislation can encompass childcare responsibilities.

Law firm Oglivy Renault has written a good summary of the decision ("Canadian Human Rights Tribunal Weighs In on Accommodating Employee Childcare Obligations") which can be found here.

Both parties have apparently filed an application with the Federal Court of Canada for judicial review of the decision, Ms. Johnstone on the basis that the CHRT should have awarded her reimbursement for her legal fees.  read more »

"Employment Policies for First Nations Employers"

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - First Nations

Eamon Murphy and Kathryn Deo, at Woodward & Company in Victoria, have written a paper on "Employment Policies for First Nations Employers" (undated).

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 »