Pregnancy & Maternity
Employee on maternity leave was constructively dismissed when employer took steps to dissolve operations
In Lewis v. Terrace Tourism Society, 2010 BCCA 346, the majority of the BC Court of
Appeal found that the Executive Director ("ED") of the Tourism Terrace Society (the "Society") was constructively dismissed when the Society took steps to dissolve its operations while she was on maternity leave.
The ED commenced her employment with the Society in May 2004.
At the end of 2006, she started a maternity leave that was scheduled to run until January 2008. An interim ED was hired to replace her.
Two weeks after the ED commenced her maternity leave, the Society determined that it was in dire financial straits. It took several immediate steps to deal with the situation, including laying off the interim executive director and removing the ED's signing authority on its bank accounts.
A month later, the Society passed a "dissolution" resolution in which it voted to: read more »
The federal government will be introducing legislation tomorrow that will allow self-employed individuals access to maternity and parental leave benefits under the Employment Insurance program, according to this Globe and Mail story.
Giving teacher term contract that ended when maternity leave started, refusing to re-hire after leave was discriminatory
(For a previous decision in which a federally regulated employer was found to have discriminated against a pregnant teacher when it did not renew her contract, see Martin v. Saultaux Band  C.H.R.D. No. 10.)
Birth father must begin parental leave within 52 weeks after child's birth, not complete it within 52 weeks
The issue in British Columbia Securities Commission v. Burke, 2008 BCSC 1244 was whether:
- a birth father's parental leave must be completed within 52 weeks after the child's birth, or
- the leave only needs to begin within 52 weeks after the child's birth.
Section 51(1)(c) of the BC Employment Standards Act provides:
An employee who requests parental leave under this section is entitled to:
- - -
for a birth father, up to 37 consecutive weeks of unpaid leave beginning after the child's birth and within 52 weeks after that event.
The Employment Standards Tribunal had determined that the latter interpretation noted above was the correct one. On judicial review, the Court upheld the Tribunal's decision. read more »