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Legal Guide

Pay equity should not be confused with “equal pay for equal work” or with “employment equity”, the latter being legislation for large federal employers or contractors designed to break down barriers in the employment of women, persons with disabilities and visible minorities. By contrast, pay equity requires equal pay for women who perform equal work of equal value, or of comparable worth, to work typically performed by men, even though in an entirely different classification. In Ontario and Quebec, such legislation requires that to identify inequities and to work towards pay equity, an employer must use a gender-neutral job evaluation system and, if inequities are identified, to gradually advance the wages of the underpaid predominantly female classification until pay equity is achieved. Although the Ontario Pay Equity Act phases in compliance requirements, new employers in Ontario with more than 10 employees are immediately bound. In Quebec, the Pay Equity Act only applies to employers with at least 10 employees. British Columbia and Alberta do not yet have separate pay equity legislation; however, there is a pay equity provision in 5.6 of the Alberta Human Rights Act which states that where employees of both sexes perform the same or substantially similar work for an employer in an establishment the employer shall pay the employees at the same rate of pay. In Alberta, the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender serves to prohibit systemic gender-based or race-based pay inequity. (Note there is a pay equity provision at 5.6 of the AHRA).

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“Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

by Andy Pushalik

In an interesting decision, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that an employer is not liable for discriminatory and harassing texts sent by a rogue employee to another of its workers.

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