Federal Court of Appeal Decision Brings Female Nav Canada Workers Closer to Pay Equity

In a recent decision, the Federal Court of Appeal revived a pay equity complaint made by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (“PSAC”) on behalf of workers in certain female-dominated groups at Nav Canada. PSAC filed the complaint in 2002, but the Canadian Human Right Commission dismissed the complaint without an investigation in 2012. In its decision of July 28, 2015, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that the Commission’s decision was unreasonable and sent the complaint against Nav Canada back to the Commission for further proceedings.

The Nav Canada employees received pay equity cheques for the years 1985 – 1996, years when they worked for Transport Canada, but did not receive wage adjustments for the years following the creation of Nav Canada in 1996. This has meant that the Nav Canada workers have lost out on the full benefits of a 1999 pay equity settlement between PSAC and the government. As counsel for PSAC, Andrew Raven of RavenLaw, told the Ottawa Citizen, the Court’s decision “has important implications for all pay equity complainants” and could make it possible for the Nav Canada employees to receive retroactive wage adjustments for the years between 1997 – 2011.

PSAC was represented at the Federal Court of Appeal by Andrew Raven and Amanda Montague-Reinholdt of RavenLaw.