When an employee is going to have a child, an employer needs to prepare for the worker’s eventual leave of absence, particularly if the employee is the mother, but increasingly for fathers, too. But important changes happen to expecting employees long before their baby is born, and employers should understand this and consider how these changes will affect the workplace.
The federal government is facing a $450-million class-action lawsuit for failing to provide sickness employment Insurance benefits to women already receiving maternity EI benefits while on maternity leave. The aim of the lawsuit is to ensure no other new mother who becomes seriously ill during maternity leave has to fight for sickness benefits.
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…
As more employees spend time on leaves of absence, employers seem to be struggling to understand their rights and obligations…
I just read an interesting report about women in the workplace. Essentially, the report suggests that women remain underrepresented relative to their male counterparts, even though they form a highly educated and skilled labour pool in the market. Given the skills shortage that is expected to occur in the near future due to mass retirements of senior baby boomer workers, this is an unsettling finding. But why is this happening?
I have been reading some interesting articles recently regarding women in the workplace. A recent report put Canada at number 20 in a global measure of equality between men and women. Canada was actually rated number 33 in the world concerning earned income gaps. Why is this still happening?
In a decision released on July 19, 2010, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario held that an employee who was fired because she was pregnant had been discriminated against on a prohibited ground…
Employers might not be clear on what happens after a female employee returns from her pregnancy/maternity leave of absence. Does the employee have to be reinstated to the exact position once she returns to work? Is it acceptable to place the employee in a different yet similar position? What if that position does not exist any longer? What if the employee must be terminated for other reasons not having to do with the pregnancy?
Here’s a question that probably few lawmakers are interested in asking themselves: does human rights legislation make the people it is designed to protect less desirable to employers?
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal recently awarded a woman $35,000 after her employer fired her when she revealed on her first day of work that she was four months pregnant. (The award covered $20,000 in lost wages and benefits, and $15,000 for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect.) In addition to the damage award, given the overwhelming number of women working for the employer, the tribunal ordered the company to implement and distribute a written policy on the accommodation of pregnancy to ensure future compliance.