Yes. 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.
Filing an anonymous complaint with the Pay Equity Office requires the following:
The name and contact information of the individual who is filing the complaint;
The name and contact information of the agent designated to represent the anonymous applicant; and
The agent must agree in writing to represent the individual.
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. 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 in Ontario has a right to find out from his or her employer about the gender predominance of their job class. If you are represented by the bargaining agent (union), then you should contact your bargaining agent. If you are an unrepresented employee, then you should contact your immediate supervisor or manager, or the Human Resources department of your employer.
The answer to this question depends on your specific circumstances, so you should contact your union representative or seek a legal advice from a qualified counsel. Generally speaking, nothing in the Pay Equity Act precludes you from grieving a pay equity issue and filing a complaint to the PEO simultaneously.
Should your complaint to the PEO be successful, i.e., should the investigating Review Officer find that your job class is owed a pay equity adjustment, then the Review Officer may order the Employer to pay out the retroactive adjustments to all the current and former employees in the specific job class, for the period for which the gap existed. There may or may not be an impact on your pension and the Employer will be responsible for calculating it. There are no provisions in the Pay Equity Act for any other damages.
Should your complaint to the PEO be successful, i.e., should the investigating Review Officer find that your job class is owed a pay equity adjustment, then the Review Officer may order the Employer to pay out the retroactive adjustments for the period for which the gap existed. If your date of hire is later than the start date of the gap, the Employer is required to pay your adjustment back to your date of hire. If your start date is earlier than the start date of the gap, then the Employer is required to pay your adjustment back to the date the gap first appeared.
You should contact your union representative or seek legal advice from a qualified counsel. Generally speaking, nothing in the Pay Equity Act precludes you from filing a complaint under the Employment Standards Act (equal pay for equal work) and filing a complaint to the PEO (pay equity) simultaneously. Please note that even though there is no time limit to file a pay equity complaint, there is a time limit of two years to file a complaint about equal pay for equal work. A complaint under the Employment Standards Act must be filed with the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Please see below:
As an employee, you are entitled to receive pay equity information that is relevant to your job class, such as gender predominance, job ratings, job value, job rate and the male comparator for your job class. You are also entitled to know whether your job class is owed any pay equity adjustments and if so, then how those adjustments have been calculated.
Yes, your employer will eventually know if you make a complaint to the Commission. You can file an anonymous application with the Commission; however, employees in small companies, or an employee who is the only incumbent in his or her job class, may be identifiable anyway. The Review Officer assigned to your case will discuss your circumstances with you before notifying your employer of the investigation.
In addition, employers are not allowed to penalize employees in any way for being involved in or asking questions about pay equity processes, objecting to pay equity plans, or otherwise exercising their rights to pay equity including making a complaint to the Commission.