Pay and Employment Equity

Many employees continue to face workplace discrimination. Women’s work continues to be paid substantially less than comparable men’s work. Women, racialized persons, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and gay, lesbian and transgender persons face widespread discrimination in hiring, working conditions and promotion opportunities.

We assist unions and employees to gain access to these rights through our role in the development, implementation and enforcement of proactive equity laws. We continue to search for new ways to make pay and employment equity an employment reality.

Our services to unions, employees and professionals in this area includes advice, representation and consulting services:

  • litigating complaints under pay, employment and human rights laws;
  • appearing before Review Officers, the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario;
  • using collective agreement grievance procedures, Labour Relations Board bargaining complaints, Charter litigation and political action to achieve equity; and
  • developing pay and employment equity plans, including the choice of gender neutral comparison systems, job evaluation processes and appropriate collective agreement language.

Recent notable cases include:

  • Association of Ontario Midwives v. Ontario (Health and Long-Term Care), in which the Firm represented the Association of Ontario Midwives in an application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ("HRTO"), which alleged that the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care had discriminated against midwives on the basis of sex with respect to their compensation and funding formula. In a landmark ruling, the HRTO found that the Ministry's conduct and inaction resulted in a significant compensation gap between midwives and physicians providing comparable services, which amounted to impermissible systemic discrimination based on sex.
  • Canada Post Corporation v Canadian Union of Postal Workers, which held that the Canada Post Corporation was liable for failing to provide pay equity for thousands of women who work as rural and suburban mail service carriers. Arbitrator Flynn determined that the predominantly women Rural Suburban Mail Couriers ("RSMCs"), who were paid on a piece-rate-like system, performed work of equal value to Urban Letter Carriers for significantly less pay. Arbitrator Flynn further found, in a later decision, that the average weighted pay gap between the two groups was $5.31 an hour, and ordered that the RSMCs receive a pay increase of that amount, along with many other benefits, including vacation leave and pre-retirement leave.

Related Cases

Case/
3 July 2020

Ontario v. Association of Ontario Midwives - Divisonal Court Ruling

Midwives Divisional Court Ruling
Case/
22 January 2018

OPP Civilian Association of Managers and Specialists v. Ontario Provincial Police

OPP Civilian Association of Managers and Specialists v. Ontario Provincial Police, 2018 HRTO 101, involving a detailed disclosure order in a human rig...
Case/
21 January 2016

Ontario Nurses' Association v. Participating Nursing Homes

Jan Borowy and Danielle Bisnar acted for the Ontario Nurses Association, and Paul Cavalluzzo, Adrienne Telford and Lara Koerner-Yeo acted for the Serv...
Case/
31 May 2012

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1999 v. Lakeridge Health Corporation

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1999 v. Lakeridge Health Corporation, 2012 ONSC 2051, in which the Divisional Court finds that potential sex ...

Related Resources

News/13 June 2022

Ontario Midwives Win at Ontario Court of Appeal in Fight to Address the Gender Pay Gap

The ONCA upholds the decision of the HRTO, finding that the Ontario government systemically discrimi...
Event/25 May 2022

Jan Borowy Speaks at Canadian Defence Lawyers’ Pay Equity Webinar

Jan Borowy speaks at Canadian Defence Lawyers’ Webinar “Pay Equity Issues that Women in Law Face – L...
News/17 May 2022

New Pay Equity Act Means Many Women Are Entitled to Pay Raises

In today's Globe and Mail, Jan Borowy comments on the new federal Pay Equity Act.
Event/12 April 2022

Equal Pay Day Leaders' Debate

The Equal Pay Coalition is hosting the first ever debate for Ontario's political leaders about women...
Blog/16 June 2022

Midwives Win Landmark Systemic Gender Discrimination Ruling at Ontario Court of Appeal

Ontario (Health) v. Association of Ontario Midwives

In a ground-breaking decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that Ontario has engaged in systemic pay discrimination of midwives that must...
Blog/16 June 2022

Midwives Win Landmark Systemic Gender Discrimination Ruling at Ontario Court of Appeal

Ontario (Health) v. Association of Ontario Midwives

In a ground-breaking decision, the Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that Ontario has engaged in systemic pay discrimination of midwives that must...
Blog/17 November 2021

A Guide for Non-Unionized Employees to the New Federal Pay Equity Act

How the new Federal Pay Equity Act impacts non-unionized employees and dependent contractors in the federal sector

Cavalluzzo LLP lawyers provide a comprehensive guide to the new federal Pay Equity Act, which came into effect August 31, 2021. This guide, intended f...
Blog/18 October 2021

A Trade Union Guide to the New Federal Pay Equity Act

Edition #1, October 12, 2021

Cavalluzzo LLP lawyers provide a comprehensive guide to the new federal Pay Equity Act, which came into effect August 31, 2021. This guide, intended f...
News/13 June 2022

Ontario Midwives Win at Ontario Court of Appeal in Fight to Address the Gender Pay Gap

The ONCA upholds the decision of the HRTO, finding that the Ontario government systemically discriminated against midwives on the basis of sex

The ONCA upholds the decision of the HRTO, finding that the Ontario government systemically discriminated against midwives on the basis of sex. Cavall...
News/17 May 2022

New Pay Equity Act Means Many Women Are Entitled to Pay Raises

Jan Borowy quoted in Globe and Mail article

In today's Globe and Mail, Jan Borowy comments on the new federal Pay Equity Act.
News/12 April 2022

"Post-pandemic, Women Can’t go Back to the Same Old Discrimination"

Tuesday marks Equal Pay Day, an international event dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap.  Today's Toronto Star article,  '"...
News/29 June 2021

Danielle Bisnar, Jan Borowy and Cynthia Crysler Published in Employment and Labour Law Reporter

Published Article Focuses on the Important Advances on Issues for Gender Equality and Pensions

The article focusses on a significant Supreme Court of Canada case (Fraser v Attorney General) released recently which has advanced equality law for w...
News/28 January 2021

New Partner Announcement

Cavalluzzo LLP is very pleased to announce that Niiti Simmonds and Michael Mandarino have joined our partnership.

Cavalluzzo LLP is very pleased to announce that Niiti Simmonds and Michael Mandarino have joined our partnership. We wish them both ongoing success as...
News/15 October 2020

Danielle Bisnar Quoted in Law Times Article on Court Decision affecting Pay Equity for Nursing Home Workers

On October 15, Danielle Bisnar was quoted in a Law Times Article on the Ontario Government’s appeal of a 2019 decision involving nurses and othe...
Event/May 25, 2022

Jan Borowy Speaks at Canadian Defence Lawyers’ Pay Equity Webinar

Pay Equity Issues that Women in Law Face – Legislation, Tribunals & Other Remedies that Women Can Use

Jan Borowy speaks at Canadian Defence Lawyers’ Webinar “Pay Equity Issues that Women in Law Face – Legislation, Tribunals & Other Remedies that Women ...
Event/Apr 12, 2022

Equal Pay Day Leaders' Debate

Live-streamed event about women's economic equality

The Equal Pay Coalition is hosting the first ever debate for Ontario's political leaders about women's economic equality, on Equal Pay Day. Cavalluzzo...
Event/Jun 29, 2021

Jan Borowy Guest Speaks at Berkeley Law Centre

Panel: “Using Labour’s Power and Worker Voice to Close the Pay Gap”

Jan Borowy was a guest speaker at Berkeley Law Centre and spoke on the Panel: “Using Labour’s Power and Worker Voice to Close the Pay Gap”
Event/Jun 11, 2021

Adrienne Telford Speaks at 2021 CALL Conference

"Closing the Pay Gap: Pay Equity and Systemic Wage Discrimination"

Adrienne Telford discusses pay equity and age discrimination at the 2021 CALL Conference, reviewing recent legislation, providing a legal overview and...
Event/Apr 21, 2021

Danielle Bisnar Participates in Virtual Roundtable on Pay Equity in Legal Profession

Danielle Bisnar joins Federal Pay Equity Commissioner Karen Jensen and others to discuss pay equity in the legal profession and beyond.
Event/Oct 30, 2020

Danielle Bisnar Joins Panel at Allard Law's Centre for Feminist Legal Studies

Danielle Bisnar joins a panel of distinguished scholars at Allard Law's Centre for Feminist Legal Studies to discuss the doctrinal and strategic impli...
Publication/3 November 2014

Securing Employment Equity by Enforcing Human Rights Laws

Securing Employment Equity by Enforcing Human Rights Laws, Employment Equity in Canada, (C. Agocs ed.) UTP: 2014, coauthored by Jan Borowy, Mary Corni...
Publication/2 September 2014

Equal Pay Coalition Brief - Canada's Growing Gender Pay Gap

Brief of the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition presented by Mary Cornish anpit Canada's gowing Gender Pay Gap
Publication/3 May 2014

A Growing Concern: Ontario's Gender Pay Gap

This year’s report examines whether there has been any change in the pay gap and denotes a troubling development. 
Publication/2 August 2013

Guide to Closing Workplace Gender Pay Gaps

This updated CSMC Trade Union Guide gives an overview of employers' obligations and union's rights and obligations in respect of closing discriminator...
Publication/1 April 2013

CCPA Paper - 10 Ways to Close Ontario's Pay Gap

The right to work free of pay discrimination is a fundamental human right, yet women in Ontario are still far behind the male starting line in the lab...
Publication/1 October 2012

CCPA Paper - A Living Wage as a Human Right

In Canada, many workers do not earn a living wage — that is, sufficient income to afford the basics of life — because of discrimination.