Employers Must Tread Carefully in Ending Benefits for Employees Aged 65+
It has been more than a decade since mandatory retirement has been prohibited in Ontario. What has been allowed to continue, however, is the termination of group benefits for workers aged 65+. This remnant of age discrimination has been severely curtailed with the recent release of Talos v Grand Erie District School Board.
In Talos, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario found that the School Board’s decision to terminate an employee’s group benefits at 65 (even though he continued to work full time) created a disadvantage based on age and reinforced the view that older workers were less valuable members of the workforce. The Tribunal did not accept the School Board’s argument that providing such benefits were cost-prohibitive.
While this landmark decision doesn’t automatically overturn other benefit plans with age restrictions, it does leave open a much easier route to challenging them.
Lawyers at Millard & Company LLP are experts in human rights law. If you think that you have been discriminated based on age or are an employer uncertain of your obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code, contact us to discuss your options.
By Mika Imai; photo by Feliphe Schiarolli