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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 transgendered 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/
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 Yeo acted for the ...
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

Firm News/1 May 2019

Historic Charter Equality Rights Win for Women Working in Nursing Homes in Ontario Divisional Court

On April 30, 2019, women who work in female-dominated workplaces won a significant and historic Char...
News/8 April 2019

Equal Pay Day

Tuesday, April 9 is Equal Pay Day in Ontario.  Equal Pay Day marks how far into the new ye...
News/2 April 2019

Pay Transparency Act Consultation open until April 5, 2019

The Ontario Pay Transparency Act, 2018 is an important tool for employees and trade unions to better...
Firm News/21 December 2018

Jan Borowy Comments on Delay of Pay Transparency Act

MacLean’s Magazine:  In the pay equity fight, Canada’s biggest provinces are ground...
Firm News/29 November 2018

Jan Borowy Provides Overview of Federal Pay Equity Act

Jan Borowy provides an overview of the new proactive Federal Pay Equity Act introduced in the federa...
Firm News/7 November 2018

Jan Borowy Presents to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance

Jan Borowy and Fay Faraday, co-chairs of the Equal Pay Coalition, present to the Federal Parliamenta...
News/1 May 2019

Historic Charter Equality Rights Win for Women Working in Nursing Homes in Ontario Divisional Court

On April 30, 2019, women who work in female-dominated workplaces won a significant and historic Charter equality rights victory in an appeal to the Di... Read More
News/8 April 2019

Equal Pay Day

Tuesday, April 9 is Equal Pay Day in Ontario.  Equal Pay Day marks how far into the new year the average woman must work to earn what men ea... Read More
News/2 April 2019

Pay Transparency Act Consultation open until April 5, 2019

Jan Borowy, lawyer and co-chair of Equal Pay Coalition

The Ontario Pay Transparency Act, 2018 is an important tool for employees and trade unions to better understand human rights and wage inequalities in ... Read More
News/21 December 2018

Jan Borowy Comments on Delay of Pay Transparency Act

MacLean’s Magazine:  In the pay equity fight, Canada’s biggest provinces are ground zero Jan Borowy, Equal Pay Coalition co-chair, pr... Read More
News/29 November 2018

Jan Borowy Provides Overview of Federal Pay Equity Act

Jan Borowy provides an overview of the new proactive Federal Pay Equity Act introduced in the federal omnibus Budget Implementation Bill.  Read More
News/7 November 2018

Jan Borowy Presents to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance

Jan Borowy and Fay Faraday, co-chairs of the Equal Pay Coalition, present to the Federal Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance to advocate for a... Read More
Article/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... Read More
Article/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... Read More
Article/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... Read More
Article/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. Read More

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