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Canadian Human Rights Tribunal

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.  

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 »

Tribunal finds that no-free standing right to accommodation under the Canadian Human Rights Act

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In Moore v. Canada Post Corporation, 2007 CHRT 31, the complainant alleged that his employer discriminated against him by failing to accommodate his disability.

On this point, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal stated:

...I cannot emphasize enough that "failure to accommodate" is neither a prohibited ground of discrimination nor a discriminatory practise under the CHRA. There is no free-standing right to accommodation under the CHRA.

The duty to accommodate only arises in the context of s. 15(2) of the CHRA and only when a respondent raises a bona fide justification by way of defense to an allegation of discrimination. For Mr. Moore to show a prima facie case, he must rely on something other that the failure of CPC to accommodate him (paras. 86-87)

Bell Canada ordered to pay damages for failing to accommodate employee who was breastfeeding

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

In Cole v. Bell Canada, 2007 CHRT 7, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ("CHRT") ordered Bell Canada to pay damages to an employee for failing to accommodate her breastfeeding schedule.


The employee had 13 years of service and worked in a Bell call centre.

She went on maternity leave. Her baby was born with a heart defect. The physician recommended that she breastfeed as long as possible in order to strengthen the baby's immune system. Further to this, the employee developed a breastfeeding schedule that required a feeding at 4:30 pm every day. 

The employee's usual shift was from 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday. On rare occasions she worked from 8:15 to 4:15.   read more »