Court Backs EI Ruling on Hours

In a long-awaited judgment, the Federal Court of Appeal has upheld the federal employment insurance scheme's rules requiring women to work a certain number of hours, saying it is not a breach of equality rights. A case filed in 1998 (The Attorney General of Canada v Kelly Lesiuk A-281-01 : 2003 FCA 3) claimed that changes to the EI act offended Section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms for its disproportional impact on women. While the new changes effected most workers, by requiring them to work longer to collect, it was contended that the greatest impact would be felt by part-time workers who are disproportionately female. The judges found Lesiuk failed to show a history of "disadvantages, stereotyping, vulnerability and prejudice" against women. Read the complete Federal Court of Appeal decision.