LEAF at Work contains information on the application of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the many types of discrimination women experience in the workplace. Although many issues pertaining to sexism at work are formally addressed in Canada’s law, this fact does not correspond to the reality of many women’s lives. Pay inequality, sexual harassment, discrimination in government benefits and hiring practices, are still all too common, leading to devastating impacts including another unintended but often unfortunate outcome, which is a lack of access to or consideration for job opportunities and/or promotions given persisting gendered stereotypes still loom in employers’ minds. LEAF is developing future workshops to address these issues.
LEAF offers an engaging dynamic workshop for youth (male and female students grade 9-12) to analyze real-life scenarios to prepare youth for equality issues they may encounter in the workplace.
LEAF at Work offers:
- One hour workshops on equality rights in the workplace
- Follow up sessions about employment and workplace related discrimination
- Curriculum-linked resources that provide current legal information and an equality rights analysis.
To get involved in our Youth or Education Advisory Committee, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples of LEAF Interventions Related to Work
Janzen v. Platy (1989), a case of sexual harassment of restaurant employees which ruled that sexual harassment was sex discrimination. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that when sexual harassment occurs in the workplace, it is an abuse of both economic and sexual power. Employers have a legal obligation to provide a workplace free from harassment.
In NAPE v. Newfoundland (2004), justice was denied to Newfoundland public employees when the courts decided that the government had discriminated against women workers by paying them unequal wages to their male equivalents, but that this discrimination was justified because of a financial deficit.
In BCGSEU v. PSERC/Meiorin (1999), a long time female firefighter was systematically excluded from her job when discriminatory workplace standards were implemented that were found not to be required to perform the job. Workplace rules must now be scrutinized to ensure that they measure professional functioning and do not exclude women or other groups.
Equal Access to Employment Insurance
Lesiuk v. Canada (2003) addresses employment benefits available under the federal Employment Insurance Act that effectively prevent part time workers from receiving employment insurance. Women are disproportionately impacted by the law because part time workers are predominantly female. As an intervener in the case LEAF argued that the EI criteria do not take into account the working situation, needs and circumstances of female workers, and that they are therefore inherently gendered.