Safety & HCM Post

Extra Benefits for Adoptive but Not Birth Parents ≠ Family Status Discrimination

A collective agreement topped off EI benefits of firefighters on parental leave—but only for adoptive parents. A birth parent union member claimed family-status discrimination and the Human Rights Board agreed. But the employer and union had the last laugh. The Board was right to conclude that the top-off discriminated against birth parents, said the Court of Appeal. But that wasn’t the end of the inquiry. The Human Rights Act (Sec. 5(1)) allows for otherwise discriminatory policies if they’re designed to “ameliorate conditions” of disadvantaged individuals and groups. The Court said that the top-off for adoptive parents met the “amelioration” exception criteria and the Board was wrong to conclude otherwise. Result: Discrimination claim dismissed [Int’l. Assoc. of Firefighters, Local 268 v. Adekayode, 2016 NSCA 6 (CanLII) Feb. 10, 2016].

Bongarde Editorial

Bongarde Editorial

Leave Comment

Sign up to our FREE Safety & HCM newsletter