Melançon et al. v. Treasury Board and the Department of Industry, the Department of Health and the Canadian International Development Agency

2010 PSLRB 20

  • Before: Ian R. Mackenzie
  • Decision Rendered: 2010-02-05
  • Original Language: English

An application for judicial review before the Federal Court of Appeal has been discontinued (Court file: A-91-10).

Subject terms:

Pay equity complaint made under Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA), R.S.C. 1985, C.H-6 – Transitional provisions of Budget Implementation Act (BIA),2009, S.C. 2009, c.2 – Motion to add separate employers – Objection by employer – Complainants had no standing to file complaint against separate employers – Objection to jurisdiction – Whether classification issues fall within the meaning of “pay equity”

The complainants are compensation consultants and are part of the Administrative Services (AS) operational group – they made complaints before the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) under sections 7, 10 and 11 of the CHRA – the complaints were made on their own behalf and on behalf of all compensation consultants employed in both the core public administration and separate agencies – the complaints were made against both the Treasury Board and their employing departments – the complainants also brought a motion to add separate agencies as respondents – the CHRC referred the complaints to the PSLRB – the Treasury Board raised a jurisdictional objection on the basis that the PSLRB does not have jurisdiction over classification issues that do not fall within the meaning of “pay equity” or “equitable compensation” – it also raised a further objection about being named as a respondent for unnamed complainants employed by separate agencies – the Vice-Chairperson held that the complaints against the three departments would be dismissed as they were not “employers” within the meaning of the relevant CHRA sections – the Vice-Chairperson held that the complainants, who were all employed in the core public administration, had no standing to represent compensation consultants employed in separate agencies – he ordered that the complaint against the separate employers be dismissed – the Vice-Chairperson held that Parliament did not intend to bifurcate complaints during the transitional period before the Public Service Equitable Compensation Act (PSECA) is proclaimed in force – the transitional provisions contained in the BIA provide a comprehensive regime to address pay equity complaints made before the PSECA comes into force, and that regime gives the PSLRB the additional power to interpret and apply the CHRA and the Equal Wages Guidelines, 1986 [SOR/86-1082] – the overall intent of the transitional provisions was that the PSLRB should stand in the shoes of the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to dispose of complaints in the interim period – the reference in the BIA to sections 7 and 10 of the CHRA “...in respect of the employer establishing or maintaining differences in wages...” was designed to distinguish pay equity complaints from the other types of complaints that can be made under those sections – an intent to bifurcate the process for pay equity complaints would have to have been set out explicitly in the legislation – the Vice-Chairperson held that evidence would be required to determine if the classification standard has any relevance to the complaints – there was no dispute between the parties that those aspects of the complaint alleging a breach of section 7 of the CHRA were not properly before the PSLRB as the CHRC had dismissed them before transferring the complaints – the respondent’s request that the 180-day requirement contained in subsection 396(6) of the BIA start afresh from the date of the decision was refused.

Objection dismissed.

Directions given.