Ontario’s Pay Equity Act and the Canadian Human Rights Act recognize pay equity as a fundamental human right for employees. To eliminate systemic gender-based pay discrimination, these statutes mandate that men and women are to receive the same pay for work of equal value.
Yet, more than 30 years after pay equity was enshrined in Ontario and Federal legislation, women’s work continues to be paid substantially less than comparable men’s work. In 2019, women in Canada earned 88 cents for every dollar earned by a man.
Together with our clients, we continue to fight against gender-based pay discrimination. We have extensive experience navigating this highly complex field, and assist trade unions and employees in all aspects of the law, including:
- the negotiation of pay equity plans;
- ensuring maintenance of the plans;
- using collective agreement grievance procedures and collective bargaining to address gender wage gaps;
- representing clients before Review Officers;
- litigating disputes in both the provincial and federal sectors before the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal, and the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario; and
- negotiating dispute resolution processes to overcome impasse and resolve disputes.
As the landscape continues to change, notably with the enactment of a new federal Pay Equity Act in December 2018, we are poised to assist our federally-regulated clients when the Act comes into force. This new Act, largely inspired by the provincial regimes in Ontario and Quebec, requires federally regulated employers with 10 or more employees to take proactive steps to correct gender wage gaps in their organizations, including the development of a pay equity plan.
We regularly keep our clients up to date on the latest developments in the law and various other anti-discrimination law topics through in-person seminars, webinars, steward training, and publications.
Please contact us to discuss how our team can assist you.