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Pregnancy & Maternity

Discriminatory to deny parental benefits to birth mothers because they received pregnancy benefits

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 »

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.

Background

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 »

Only 1 in 5 Canadian employers offer "top up" payments to employees on maternity/parental leave

Only 1 in 5 Canadian employers offered "top up" or supplemental payments to employees on maternity/parental leave in 2008, according to a new Statisics Canada article ("Employer top-ups"). Key findings from the study include:  read more »

Legislation to be introduced to allow self-employed access to maternity and parental EI benefits

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.