Union blog’s sexist comments about manager constitutionally protected, not discriminatory, says court

September 25, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Nicole Singh

Canadian tribunals have consistently ruled that communications by employees on social media can be viewed as an extension of the workplace. Improper communication on such platforms can therefore be considered a form of workplace discrimination under Canadian human rights laws. Discipline or termination can sometimes be appropriate.

However, in the decision Taylor-Baptiste v. Ontario Public Service Employees Union, a union official’s sexist and offensive blog posts about his manager were found to not constitute discrimination under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Instead, the comments in the blog posts were protected by his constitutional free speech and associational rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Turning the tables: An arbitrator focuses on an employer’s use of social media

August 21, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Megan Rolland

In Canada, a recent Ontario arbitration decision serves as a cautionary tale for employers who use social media to interact with customers and clients. read more…

Benefits beyond age 65?

June 26, 2016 0 COMMENTS

By Marc Rodrigue

The laws that generally provided for mandatory retirement in Canada have been eliminated. Across Canada, with very few exceptions, employees generally cannot be forced to retire at age 65. But can their benefits be cut off at age 65?

Even if employers are permitted to cut off benefits to workers 65 and older under human rights antidiscrimination laws, are they contractually entitled to do so? Recent labor arbitration decisions indicate that if employers don’t properly contract to cut off benefits, they may not be entitled to cut off benefits at all.

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Human rights damages awarded by Ontario court

January 19, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Eowynne Noble

In 2008, Ontario’s Human Rights Code was revised to specifically permit Ontario courts to award damages for breaches of the Code. Before this, it was only the Human Rights Tribunal that had jurisdiction to award damages for human rights violations in Ontario.

Since then, Ontario plaintiffs have made many attempts to obtain human rights damages in wrongful dismissal and other employment-related lawsuits, but none have succeeded until now. For the first time, the Ontario Superior Court has awarded damages for a breach of the Code in Wilson v. Solis Mexican Foods, 2013 ONSC 5799. read more…

Do Age-Based Early Retirement Programs Violate Human Rights Code?

May 10, 2010 0 COMMENTS

By Ralph Nero and Ida Martin

Are pension plans that provide age-based early retirement programs discriminatory? In a decision that may be important across Canada, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has recently answered no.

In Kovacs v. Arcelor Mittal Montreal, Kovacs argued that he had been discriminated against on the basis of his age by not being able to participate in the early retirement program being offered by the employer, Arcelor.

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More Amendments to Human Rights Legislation in Canada

September 28, 2009 2 COMMENTS

by Katie Clayton and Farrah Sunderani

Over the past couple of years, human rights legislation across Canada has undergone a period of transition. This comes as a response to growing dissatisfaction with outdated statutes and the lengthy processes in place to resolve complaints.

Amendments to the British Columbia Human Rights Code were proposed in 2002 and set the stage for other provinces to follow suit. Modifications to Ontario’s Human Rights Code followed in 2008, and those changes closely mirrored those put in place in British Columbia. Now it seems that Alberta is next in line.

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