Pursuant to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) in Ontario, in most cases, an employee who takes pregnancy and/or parental leave is entitled to:
- The same role the employee had before the leave began; or
- A comparable role if the employee’s former position no longer exists.
This means that an employer can offer a comparable role, thus effectively changing an employee’s duties, if the employee’s previous role was eliminated.
However, employees may have a claim against their employer if the changes in their job duties have resulted in at least one of the following:
- Significantly fewer job duties;
- Downgraded job duties;
- Reduction in pay; and/or
- Demotion in seniority.
If an employee experiences significant changes to the terms of their employment, then they may be entitled to bring a claim for constructive dismissal.
If the employee can connect the changes to their job duties to the fact that they took a leave then the employee may also be entitled to damages connected to a violation of their human rights.
Further, if an employee is concerned that their employer has not complied with the ESA, including by failing to return them to a position that is comparable to the role they held prior to the pregnancy and/or parental leave then they may be permitted to file a complaint with the Ministry of Labour.
If you believe your duties have been significantly impacted as a result of returning from pregnancy and/or parental leave, please contact Toronto employment lawyers, Sultan Lawyers at 416-214-5111 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.