On April 7, 2017, the BC Government issued a press release on having fulfilled its promise to ban mandatory high heels from BC workplaces. The change was made by amending section 8.22 of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (“OHS Regulation”), and is explained by WorkSafeBC’s recently adopted OHS Guideline G8.22Footwear regarding section 8.22 of the OHS Regulation.
The Guideline provides that “footwear must both allow the workers to perform their work safely and provide the protection required for the particular environment.” Employers must conduct an assessment of the risks present in their particular workplace and duties of the employee … Continue Reading
A recent decision of the BC Human Rights Tribunal (“Tribunal”) serves as a useful reminder of the utility of a reasonable settlement offer, which can result in the Tribunal putting an end to complaint proceedings without a hearing. In Sebastian v. Vancouver Coastal Health and others (No. 3), 2017 BCHRT 1, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority (“VCH”) made a reasonable settlement offer and succeeded in having a human rights complaint filed by a litigious employee dismissed by the Tribunal under section 27(1)(d)(ii) of the Human Rights Code, thereby avoiding a 15-day hearing.
Joseph Sebastian is an employee … Continue Reading
Following our previous post on the British Columbia government’s bill to amend the Human Rights Code [Code] earlier this year, the bill recently received royal assent and “gender identity and gender expression” are now expressly included in the Code as protected grounds.
Though the meaning and application of these new protected grounds will need to be fleshed out by Tribunal and court decisions, the Tribunal’s website now provides the following descriptions:
Gender Expression: Gender expression is how a person presents their gender. This can include behaviour and appearance, including dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice. This … Continue Reading