canadian charter of rights and freedoms
Last year, the Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench concluded that amendments to the Essential Services Act impeded workers from exercising their fundamental freedom of association, which includes the right to associate and organize, the right to bargain collectively, and the right to strike. Relying on a decision of the International Labour Organization, the Court found that the Act completely and utterly violated section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court gave the government one year to amend the legislation, but instead, it appealed the ruling. On April 26, 2013, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal upheld amendments to the Essential Services Act and ruled that whether or not the Charter protects a right to strike is a matter that should be left to the Supreme Court of Canada to decide.
As predicted, there was an application for leave to appeal Air Canada’s mandatory retirement case to the Supreme Court of Canada; however, without providing any reasons, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application and refused to hear the matter.
The three most viewed articles on HRinfodesk this week deal with an employer’s dress code, if a criminal conviction can be viewed as a disability and how guetto comments in the workplace can be construed as discriminatory.
The Supreme Court of Canada released its much-awaited decision in R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53, on October 19. This criminal law case is notable for employers because it provides commentary on an employee’s right to privacy when using an employer-supplied laptop.
Expect application for leave to appeal to Supreme Court of Canada in Air Canada mandatory retirement case
Since the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the mandatory retirement practice for Air Canada pilots, some developments have taken place. First, in the primary Vilven and Kelly case, there will likely be an application filed to obtain leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the constitutionality of section 15(1)(c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
As you may recall, Air Canada pilots launched human rights complaints on the ground of age discrimination because the company forced them to retire at age 60. In a history of decisions spanning back to 2007 challenging the Air Canada policy that requires pilots to retire at the age of 60, which section 15(1)(c) of the Canadian Human Rights Act purports to allow, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal recently made two more decisions. One involved…
The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a legally blind woman’s 2010 legal victory over the federal government, ordering the government to make its websites accessible to blind persons. It may not be a case under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, but it does show us how website accessibility matters and has an impact on promoting accessibility for persons with disabilities.
After examining Canada’s international labour obligations, Saskatchewan’s Court of Queen’s Bench, has confirmed that section 2(d) of the Charter (the freedom to associate) includes the right to strike. This is something the courts have historically refused to admit in their decisions.
Under employment standards legislation, birth mothers receive a total of 52 weeks of leave when they combine maternity (17 weeks) and parental leave (35 weeks), and are entitled to receive a total of 50 weeks of EI benefits (15 weeks maternity, 35 weeks parental) for that period. However, the same benefits are not available to adoptive mothers, who only receive 37 weeks of parental leave and 35 weeks of EI benefits. Now a new movement to challenge the law to provide equal EI benefits to adoptive parents is gaining momentum…
The Supreme Court of Canada has finally released its decision in Ontario (A.G.) v. Fraser affecting the working lives of agricultural workers in Ontario. The decision demonstrates just how divided opinions are on the question of limiting workers’ freedom of association under section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly restricting unionization and collective bargaining.
On March 22, 2011, the Ontario Court of Appeal rendered a significant judgment concerning the protection of privacy in the workplace. Specifically, the Court determined that an employee had an expectation of privacy when using a laptop made available by the employer on which he was allowed to retain personal information.
Section 15.1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) provides that “every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on…age.”
On January 11, 2011, the Treasury Board Secretariat announced that the federal government will file an appeal of a court decision that ordered Ottawa to make all government websites accessible to the blind within 15 months.
A Quebec workers’ compensation tribunal has ruled that reducing injured workers’ income replacement benefits at the retirement age of 65 is unconstitutional because it discriminates on the basis of age, contrary to both the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms (section 10) and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (section 15).