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Who Can File an Application

Complaints can be made at any time there has been a contravention of the Pay Equity Act or of an Order issued by the Pay Equity Office or the Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal, by: 

1. An Employer
2. An Employee/ former employee or group of employees/former employees or an agent acting on behalf of employee(s)
3. A Bargaining Agent representing an employee or group of employees

For non-unionized employees:

Where there is a requirement for the employer to prepare a pay equity plan for its non-unionized employees, those employees have an opportunity to object to the terms of the plan within certain time limits.

For unionized employees:

Where there is a requirement for the employer to prepare a pay equity plan for its unionized employees, they may complain that the plan does not meet the minimum requirements of the Act.

For purposes of the Pay Equity Act, "employees" include:

  • full-time workers
  • part-time workers
  • seasonal workers in the same position for the same employer
  • students working on a part-time basis while going to school

"Employees" does not include:

  • students working only during their vacation periods
  • employees of the federal government
  • employees working for organizations under federal jurisdiction, such as chartered banks, airlines, post offices, television and radio stations, telecommunications, inter-provincial transportation, etc.
  • employees working for private sector companies with fewer than 10 employees as of December 31, 1987, and who retain an employee count of less than 10 after that date
  • some casual workers

Former Employees:

Employees who have left a workplace do not lose their right to file a complaint.

Can the Applicant File Anonymously?

Yes. Filing an anonymous complaint with the Pay Equity Office requires the following:

1. The name and contact information of the individual who is filing the complaint;

2. The name and contact information of the agent designated to represent the anonymous applicant; and

3. The agent must agree to act in writing to be appointed as representative. 

Note:  An employer is entitled to know and respond to allegations being made against it. Investigation of your allegations will require disclosure to the employer of the details of allegation. These particulars may enable the employer to identify who is making the complaint. Please note that the Pay Equity Act prohibits employers or anyone acting on behalf of an Employer from penalizing employees in any way for seeking to enforce their pay equity rights.

An employee may file an anonymous application by appointing another person (called an agent) to file the application on their behalf. All communication will then be done through the agent.