Federal laws require that women get pay equal to that of men for work of equal value within any federally-regulated employer of any size. The Government of Canada website defines pay equity between the genders as a "fundamental human right ... known as equal pay for work of equal value." The right is granted by the Canadian Human Rights Act and focuses on the undervaluation of jobs historically held by female employees.
Almost 100 percent of the 4,700 unionized Vancouver-area transit workers employed by TransLink subsidiary Coast Mountain Bus voted late Thursday to support a strike in stalled contract negotiations. According to the Vancouver Sun, the president of the local Unifor union that represents transit operators said that there is "no indication of when, or if, 72-hour strike notice would be given ..." and that further collective bargaining negotiations are scheduled to continue.
The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, known as FIPA, is a public interest group that promotes Canadian privacy rights, including those applicable to employees in the workplace. As part of their public outreach, FIPA provides extensive information to Canadians on provincial and federal privacy laws and their application to employees and employers.
A recent article from CBC news suggests that some legal experts believe that requiring female restaurant staff to wear suggestive clothing while working may be a violation of Canadian human rights laws. As an example, the article cites a 2001 BC Human Rights Tribunal decision in which a female employee of a Vancouver restaurant refused to wear a bikini top to serve beverages at a Hawaiian-themed party. The Tribunal awarded her almost $6,000 after finding that the requirement was discriminatory.
For many individuals in British Columbia, unions play an important role in governing their labour relations. Unions represent workers in various occupations, in labour matters and among other things, negotiate collective agreements for the workers. Trucking companies operating out to Vancouver's port are examples of businesses that employ individuals who are part of a union. Recently two of those trucking companies were in the news regarding their employees' relationship with the union, Unifor.
Workplace discrimination can take many different forms and can be based on a variety of prohibited grounds including race, gender and religion. While many who experience discrimination in employment are actually employed when it happens, that is not a prerequisite. It is possible that someone seeking employment might be denied a job for discriminatory reasons and if so, the person may decide to file a human rights complaint.
There was a time that employees throughout British Columbia could count on a pension when they retired after years of working. As the years have passed however, this has changed. Workers living longer and a lagging economy contribute to this. These, and other changes, have made it necessary for employees to focus on other ways to fund retirement. It has also caused some employers to rethink the way in which pensions are managed.
While not all workers belong to a union, there are a variety of things those who do can look to the organization for help with. One of those things is negotiating compensation and benefits. Generally, when it comes to matters of this nature there is an assumption that a group has more power than individuals, providing leverage in negotiation. A tactic members of a union might use in the course of negotiation is a strike.
The BC Human Rights Code provides employees in the province with a variety of workplace protections. One of those protections is from acts of discrimination. When an employee believes that he or she has been discriminated against, they can file a claim with the BC Human Rights Tribunal. In turn, those complaints may go to a hearing in front of a tribunal, which will then determine whether the actions of the employer did in fact rise to the level of violating the Code.
The British Columbia Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in the workplace on a variety of grounds including mental and physical disability. When a worker suffers discrimination on the basis of either of these grounds, that employee may be able to take legal action against the individual or party that is responsible for the discriminatory action.