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Canada Pension Plan nurses win huge gender discrimination settlement

July 09, 2012

Peter Engelmann, representing PIPSC, has negotiated a settlement to compensate nurses for losses sustained over a 34-year period during which the Government paid them less than it paid doctors to perform exactly the same work.

As recently reported, the Federal Government has stopped fighting a human rights claim alleging gender discrimination and agreed to pay nurses who work for the Canada Pension Plan an estimated $160 million for gender discrimination dating back more than three decades.

The nurses, who are predominately female, worked as medical adjudicators, assessing applications for CPP disability benefits. The Government also employs doctors, who are predominately male, to perform the same work, but they are classified as medical professionals and compensated at a much higher wage rate.

As a result of the settlement, some of the nurses will collect over $200,000 in back pay, payments for pain and suffering, and interest. On an individual basis, this settlement may be the largest settlement involving a discrimination complaint by federal employees.

The settlement covers not just the 400+ nurses who signed onto the human rights complaint, but all current and former medical adjudicators who work or worked for the CPP Disability Program between March 1, 1978 and September 30, 2011. Current or former medical adjudicators who were not complainants in the litigation have until December 31, 2013 to advise Treasury Board of their claim.

Click here for a summary of the litigation.


Peter Engelmann

Practice Areas

Human Rights Law