Supreme Court of Canada

On 10 May 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in two important pay equity cases. Those decisions deliver 10 key wins for women’s pay equity rights.

One case, brought by CUPE and the FIQ, deals with women’s rights to maintain pay equity (“the Pay Equity Maintenance Appeal”).1 The second case, brought by the CSN and CSQ, deals with women’s rights to pay equity in female-dominated workplaces like childcare centres and language interpretation (“the Female Workplaces Appeal”).2

While both appeals began in Quebec, the Court’s rulings apply across Canada.

In its majority decisions, the Supreme Court of Canada protected 10 key principles that give strong support to pay equity advocacy and rights enforcement. In particular, the Court explicitly:

  • recognized how systemic sex discrimination creates and feeds the gender pay gap;
  • identified key protections needed to redress systemic discrimination such as:
    • access to information from the employer relevant to pay equity;
    • pay equity rights for women in female-dominated workplaces, including women in the private sector; and
    • full remedies in pay equity maintenance, including retroactive pay; and
  • rejected several arguments that governments and employers have repeatedly tried to use to deny women’s pay equity claims.

Click here for a full overview of  what the new Supreme Court of Canada decisions mean for pay equity advocacy prepared by Equal Pay Coalition Co-Chairs Jan Borowy and Fay Faraday.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dtsang/895887550