A 2018 roundup of the top legal cases in the benefits industry — Benefits Canada

Jana Steele

Dec 21, 2018

Osler partner Jana Steele tells Benefits Canada that one of the most significant legal cases in the pension and benefits industry in 2018 was the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal’s decision in Talos v. Grand Erie District School Board (Talos). In his article, author Julius Melnitzer examines several of the top legal cases in 2018 related to pensions and benefits, including Talos. According to the article, Talos “originated with the school board’s policy of terminating group health, dental and life insurance benefits at age 65, even if employees continued working.” As the article outlines, “Grand Erie relied on the exception permitted by the Ontario Human Rights Code, which allows differential benefits plan treatment on the basis of age for those under 18 or over 65.” The tribunal concluded “the exempting provision of the Employment Standards Act violated the prohibition against age discrimination in the Charter of Rights.” Jana, a partner in Osler’s Pensions & Benefits Group, explains the significance of this case.

“This case is important because plan administrators who previously relied on the Employment Standards Act to terminate extended health, dental or life insurance benefits for persons age 65 and over will likely no longer be able to do so without the risk of facing a human rights complaint,” Jana tells Benefits Canada.

The article also outlines several other significant cases in the Pensions & Benefits landscape in 2018 and the background to each case.

For more information, read Julius Melnitzer’s article “A 2018 roundup of the top legal cases in the benefits industry” in Benefits Canada.