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Canadian Human Rights Act

BC Maritime Employers Association files systemic sex discrimination complaint against its union

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Transportation

The BC Maritime Employers Association ("BCMEA") submitted a complaint yesterday to the Canadian Human Rights Commission against the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ("ILWU").

The BCMEA is calling it an "unprecedented step" taken because of "the urgent need to provide an inclusive workplace at the waterfront in British Columbia".

The BCMEA further states that it had "no other choice" but to file the complaint due to "the refusal of the ILWU to participate in timely and meaningful action to move toward equality in the workplace."

The complaint  - a summary of which can be found here - alleges that the ILWU Canada and its various local Unions are engaging in various discriminatory practices contrary to section 10 of the Canadian Human Rights Act ("CHRA").  read more »

Leave to appeal to Supreme Court of Canada filed in case concerning Tribunal's authority to award legal costs

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal
Sector: - Public Safety

In Canada (Attorney General) v. Mowat  2009 FCA 309, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal does not have authority to award legal costs to successful complainants.

This overturned the Tribunal's November 2006 decision, in which it had awarded the complainant $47,000 on account of her legal costs plus interest from the date of the decision to the date of payment.

The Supreme Court of Canada's website shows that the Canadian Human Rights Commission has now filed an application for leave to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Air Canada Pilots Association applies for judicial review of CHRT decision on mandatory retirement

The Air Canada Pilots Association (ACPA) issued a news release today announcing that they have applied to the Federal Court for judicial review of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision in Vilven v. Air Canada, 2009 CHRT 24, which called into question the retirement age provision of the pilots' collective agreement with Air Canada.

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision may signal death knell for mandatory retirement in federal sector

On July 1, 2009, Nova Scotia amended its human rights legislation in order to prohibit mandatory retirement in most cases.  This means that every province and territory in Canada has now either prohibited mandatory retirement outright, or only allows it if it is based on bona fide retirement or pension plans, or a bona fide occupational requirement.

The same cannot be said for federally regulated employers in Canada.

Section 15(1)(c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act (the "Act") still permits employers in the federal sector to impose mandatory retirement policies on their employees if they have reached "the normal age of retirement for employees working in positions similar to the position of that individual".

Sections 15(1)(a) and 15(2) of the Act provide that mandatory retirement policies are not discriminatory if they are based on a bona fide occupational requirement.  read more »

"Transfer of Jurisdiction Handbook on Employment Issues"

The First Nations School Association ("FNSA") has prepared a "Transfer of Jurisdiction Handbook on Employment Issues" (September 11, 2008). As stated in the introduction, the Handbook: aimed mainly at Participating First Nations that will take jurisdiction over education pursuant to the First Nations Jurisdiction over Education in British Columbia Act (Canada), the First Nations Education Act (BC), and various jurisdiction agreements. The purpose is to identify steps that schools and Participating First Nations can take to prepare for the transfer of jurisdiction in connection with employment issues.

The Handbook has three parts:  read more »