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Leaves & Vacations

Labour Minister Leitch and US Secretary Perez discuss paid leave, advancement of women in workplace

Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal - United States

The federal Ministry of Labour issued the following news release on December 8, 2014:

Minister Leitch and United States Labor Secretary Tom Perez hold bilateral talks in Ottawa

Minister Leitch and Secretary Perez discussed paid leave and the advancement of women in the workplace

December 8, 2014- Gatineau, Quebec - Employment and Social Development Canada

The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, discussed bilateral labour issues with her American counterpart, the Honorable Tom Perez, United States Secretary of Labor, during his first official visit to Canada.

Secretary Perez expressed an interest in paid leave as a means of boosting labour market participation and wished to learn about Canada's approach to it from Minister Leitch.  read more »

Discriminatory to provide birth mothers same amount of top-up benefits as birth fathers, adoptive parents

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia
Sector: - Education

In a rare oral judgment that was issued on November 12, 2014 - British Columbia Teachers' Federation v. British Columbia Public School Employers' Association, 2014 SCC 70 - the Supreme Court of Canada overturned a decision by the BC Court of Appeal and restored the decision of a labour arbitrator concerning top-up benefits provided to teachers who are new parents.

The labour arbitrator, John B. Hall, had ruled that it was discriminatory - under section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and section 13 of the BC Human Rights Code -  to provide the same amount of top-up benefits to birth mothers as birth fathers and adoptive parents.

Specifically, Arbitrator Hall had ruled:  read more »

US EEOC issues updated enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues

Jurisdiction: - United States

On July 14, 2014 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") released updated guidance on pregnancy discrimination and related issues. Their press release is as follows:

EEOC Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance On Pregnancy Discrimination And Related Issues

Fact Sheet for Small Businesses and Question and Answer Document Also Released  read more »

"To Pay Vacation Pay, Or Not Pay Vacation Pay: That Is The Question "

Two lawyers at McMillan - Paul Boshyk and George Waggott - have written an article for the firm's January 2014 labour and employment bulletin, "To Pay Vacation Pay, Or Not Pay Vacation Pay: That Is The Question".

The article addresses the obligation to compensate a dismissed employee for vacation pay over the notice period. The authors focus on the following Ontario cases:

  • Cronk v Canadian General Insurance Co., (1995), 25 OR (3d) 505 (ONCA) 
  • Garvin v Rockwell International of Canada Ltd., 1993 CarswellOnt 966 (Ct J (GD)) 
  • Emery v Royal Oak Mines Inc., 1995 CarswellOnt 456 (Ct J (GD))

New Brunswick introduces "improvements" to its Employment Standards Act

Jurisdiction: - New Brunswick

The New Brunswick government has introduced "improvements" to its Employment Standards Act. This is the full news  release that was issued on Wednesday, December 3, 2013:

Improvements to Employment Standards Act introduced

The provincial government introduced today amendments to the Employment Standards Act that will improve its ability to protect foreign workers in New Brunswick.

The amendments will create an employer registry that will strengthen the communication of the provincial government with foreign workers and their employers about employment standards and the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers.

The amendment adds provisions to ensure employers only recover allowable recruitment and transportation costs from the foreign workers themselves. It clarifies legal practices with respect to foreign worker housing arrangements and the holding of personal documents such as passports and work permits.  read more »

Ontario's Family Caregivers Bill Passes Second Reading

Topics: - Leaves & Vacations
Jurisdiction: - Ontario

The Ontario government issued the following news release on September 25, 2013, concerning the proposed Family Caregivers Bill:

Today, Bill 21, the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Leaves to Help Families), 2013, passed second reading after debate in the Ontario legislature.  If passed, the bill would allow caregivers to focus their attention on what matters most -- providing care and support to their loved ones -- without the fear of losing their job.

The act would build on the existing Family Medical Leave by creating three new job-protected leaves:

-Family Caregiver Leave: up to eight weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for employees to provide care and support to a family member with a
serious medical condition.  read more »

Federal government: parents who commit to adopt children in their care are eligible for EI parental benefits

The federal government announced yesterday that parents who commit to adopt children in their care will be able to get Employment Insurance (EI) parental benefits.

The government's news release also stated:

  • In recognition that adoption programs vary by province and territory, the federal government will now allow parents to be eligible for EI parental benefits as soon as they have taken the necessary steps to adopt the child in their care. This change brings the EI program in line with current adoption procedures.
  • Parental benefits under the EI program are provided to parents who qualify to take time away from work to bond with their newborn or newly adopted child or children. A maximum of 35 weeks of parental benefits is available to biological or adoptive parents.

This is the text of the accompanying "Backgrounder":

ENHANCED FLEXIBILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (EI) PARENTAL BENEFITS WHEN ADOPTING

Adoption and Employment Insurance parental benefits  read more »