i. How do employers assign value to job classes?
Once all job information is collected, and the job evaluation tool or mechanism has been selected and customized for the organization, employers then apply the chosen mechanism or tool to determine the value of job classes according to the factors and sub-factors.
The Tribunal used five tests for determining whether the tool or mechanism used to value the work was applied in a gender neutral way Ontario Nurses’ Association v. Regional Municipality of Haldimand-Norfolk, 1992 CanLII 4705 (ON PEHT):
- Is the valuing tool applied consistently without regard to the gender of the job class?
- If a committee is used to evaluate job classes, is the committee balancing the interests of the parties with duties and obligations under the Act?
- If a committee is part of the system, is it sufficiently knowledgeable to allow the parties to meet their obligations?
- Is the decision-making done in a manner free of gender bias?
- Does the mechanism identify systemic wage discrimination?
ii. What if an employee requires job accommodation as a result of a disability?
iii. Job evaluations for pay equity must be reasonable
The Tribunal has recognized that under the Act, the area of job evaluation which includes collecting job information, deciding what is significant, and evaluating that job content against the prescribed factors of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions, is not precise. The Tribunal stated in Group of Employees v. Ontario (Management Board Secretariat), 1999 CanLII 14827 (ON PEHT):
“If the parties have made a reasonable effort to accurately capture the job content, then the Tribunal will not inquire further. Therefore, if, on the face of the Application, it is clear that the system ignored one of the criteria, or failed to apply these criteria, or unreasonably excluded important job information related to any of the four criteria, then the Tribunal should proceed to hear the merits of the Application.”
There may be more than one way to choose sub-factors and/or weightings to value a job class. When investigating complaints about job evaluation for pay equity purposes, a Review Officer will determine whether the job evaluation method took into account the four required factors of skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions and whether the decisions made were reasonable. See also McNeil v. Kirkland Lake (Town), 2002 CanLII 49446 (ON PEHT).