Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

June 21, 2005 10:00 ET

OFL ASKS ONTARIO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION TO REVIEW

MANDATORY RETIREMENT AMENDMENTS THAT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST OLDER WORKERS Attention: Assignment Editor, Health/Medical Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - June 21, 2005) - "Changes to the Ontario Human Rights Code that entrench discriminatory treatment of older, injured workers must be reviewed, says OFL president Wayne Samuelson. I have also asked the Commission to make recommendations to the appropriate government bodies so all Ontario workers are protected and all discriminatory effects are removed from the legislation."

On June 7, 2005 the Minister of Labour Chris Bentley announced amendments to the Ontario Human Rights Code designed to eliminate mandatory retirement at age 65. " The troubling fact is that older workers and in particular older, injured workers will have to deal with entrenched discrimination because of this announcement," Samuelson said.

"The discriminatory effects are in two major areas. First, is the government's announced intention to permit employers to discriminate against workers on the basis of age in respect of the provision of employee benefit plans. Secondly, is the aspect of the legislative amendment that permits the Workers' Compensation Board to discriminate against older workers with impunity. As a result, even though older workers will now be entitled to continue employment after age 65, they can be denied the benefits and protections of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act," Samuelson noted in his letter to the Commission.

"There can be no justification for baring older employees from vital employment benefits available to others," Samuelson said. "While we hoped that rather than abolishing mandatory retirement the government would have concentrated its efforts on providing adequate pensions to elderly employees, it is entirely unacceptable to allow employers to retain older workers but deny then benefits which are generally available to the rest of Ontario workforce."

cope343 /For further information: Laurie Hardwick
OFL Director of Organization Services
416.571.3087 (cellular)/ IN: HEALTH, LABOUR, MEDIA, POLITICS

Contact Information

  • Wayne Samuelson, OFL President
    Primary Phone: 416-571-7408