A B.C. woman whose maternity and parental benefits were clawed back by the provincial government will now have her case hard by the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
Jessica Alford and her husband filed the complaint against BC’s Ministry of Social Development, after disability assistance the family received was clawed back while the family received Employment Insurance benefits after the birth of their third child in 2014.
While Alford was allowed to work a little bit without any clawback, the situation changed when she went on parental leave.
Her human rights complaint alleges this practice discriminates against women, who are primarily the ones who claim that type of benefit.
The province tried to have the complaint tossed out because it was filed outside of the permitted time frame, but the tribunal says it will hear the case anyway because the matter is in the public interest, women have historically faced systemic discrimination, and this is a topic not heard by the tribunal before.