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Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Top 10 most significant employment law cases in Canada for women

In light of International Women's Day back on March 8, 2015, Legal Feeds, the Blog for Canadian Lawyer & Law Times published a list of the most significant court decisions for women in the workplace over the last 25 year, as compiled by the lawyers at Rubin Thomlinson LLP in Ontario. Here is the firm's top 10 list:  read more »

Federal Court of Appeal lays out test for family status discrimination as it relates to childcare matters

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

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 »

"Elder care" recognized under "family status" protection for first time by Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In Hicks v. Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2013 CHRT 20, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal recognized "elder care" under the "family status" protection for first time.

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 »

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 »

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.

CLE BC "Human Rights Conference - 2009"

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia - Canada/Federal

Day 2 of the annual CLE BC "Human Rights Conference - 2009" took place today in Vancouver. J. Grant Sinclair, Q.C., whose appointment as chair of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ended this week, was the luncheon speaker. He presented on section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which prohibits hate messages.