April 2015 Human Rights Digest
Volume 79 e-Volume in CHRR Online
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code Amended
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A Virtual Slave in Canada
In an unusual decision, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled recently that a young Filipino domestic worker was a “virtual slave” when she came to Canada with a family who was moving from Hong Kong (CHRR Doc. 15-0060). Her circumstances reveal how, because of a number of intersecting vulnerabilities, domestic workers like PN can be in our midst, but lack the protections that most Canadians take for granted.
PN is a 28 year old woman with two children of her own in the Philippines. She moved to Hong Kong to work with a family because, as the Tribunal heard from expert witnesses, she, like other Filipino women, cannot find jobs at home that will pay them wages that are even close to those that they can earn abroad.
When the family moved to Canada they pressured her to come...
$161,737 for Lost Wages Awarded to Person with a Developmental Disability
DISABILITY — EQUAL PAY / Decision on an application alleging discrimination in employment on the basis of disability. The applicant, who is a person with a developmental delay, alleged that while she performed substantially the same duties as general labourers who did not have developmental disabilities, she was paid significantly less. The Tribunal found that the pay differential was a...
What Was Said
Supreme Court of Canada, Gascon J.
"With respect, what is in issue here is not complete secularity, but true neutrality on the State's part and the discrimination that results from a violation of that neutrality. In this regard ... I do not think that the State's duty to remain neutral on questions relating to religion can be reconciled with a benevolence that would allow it to adhere to a religious belief. State neutrality means ... that the State must neither encourage nor discourage any form of religious conviction...
Human Rights Digest 16-3, April 2015