Author Topic: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree  (Read 6669 times)

BPA

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Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« on: March 22, 2016, 05:55:28 PM »
The Pensions and Benefits manager of my former employer has decreed that unlike other retirees, I was not allowed to have my benefits extended to the end of the month, because I "quit" and I did not "retire."

Of particular note, I called his office and asked specifically how long benefits are covered if someone resigns, and I was told to the end of the month when that person quits.  It was not stipulated to me that I had to be a certain age or retiring.  In my resignation letter, I put that I was resigning. But I took the commuted value of my pension and did not transfer it to another pension plan or defer it.  I am retired.

They are now refusing to cover the cost of my orthotics. 

I live in Ontario, Canada and I think that he might be violating the Ontario Human Rights Code by treating me this way.  http://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/ontario-human-rights-code


I am looking for anyone who may have some special insight into the Ontario Human Rights Code or has experienced something similar.

Of course, anyone else is welcome to post, but if you have some expertise, I am especially interested in hearing from you.

Thanks.

Zamboni

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2016, 06:02:27 PM »
Wow, that's a drag. I'm sorry to read it, and hope that you can get it resolved. On the bright side, if all it costs you is the price of some orthotics, then you can celebrate that you were lucky to get away from a place that doesn't treat people properly.

BPA

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2016, 06:19:12 PM »
Wow, that's a drag. I'm sorry to read it, and hope that you can get it resolved. On the bright side, if all it costs you is the price of some orthotics, then you can celebrate that you were lucky to get away from a place that doesn't treat people properly.

Excellent point.  I am pretty cheesed, but am revisiting work stress thanks to this issue.

I owe them money they overpaid me.  I will be using that as leverage.

sparkshooter

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2016, 07:05:44 PM »
Age of retirement is not a protected (or analogous) ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This is not legal advice, but you will be politely laughed out of the OHRT if you try to proceed with a claim.

If you want to hear that same information from people who can give you legal advice, you may wish to contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. Their website is http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/home and they have lots of useful resources, including a "Have you experienced Discrimination" resource to help determine if you have experience Code-based discrimination (http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/node/143).

BPA

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 07:47:14 PM »
Age of retirement is not a protected (or analogous) ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This is not legal advice, but you will be politely laughed out of the OHRT if you try to proceed with a claim.

If you want to hear that same information from people who can give you legal advice, you may wish to contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. Their website is http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/home and they have lots of useful resources, including a "Have you experienced Discrimination" resource to help determine if you have experience Code-based discrimination (http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/node/143).

Thanks.

I guess my point is that he is saying I can't be retired because of my age, so he is discriminating against me based on age.  Also, I retired early partly because of documented anxiety related to the work place.  So, if I left my career early because of mental health issues, should that be held against me?

I'll check out the link.

ETA:  I wasn't planning on going to a tribunal, but rather was looking for leverage for when I escalate to his boss, or if possible point it out to him.  I wouldn't waste a tribunal's time for the cost of orthotics. 
« Last Edit: March 22, 2016, 07:52:13 PM by BPA »

BlueHouse

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 07:52:49 PM »
Age of retirement is not a protected (or analogous) ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This is not legal advice, but you will be politely laughed out of the OHRT if you try to proceed with a claim.

If you want to hear that same information from people who can give you legal advice, you may wish to contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. Their website is http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/home and they have lots of useful resources, including a "Have you experienced Discrimination" resource to help determine if you have experience Code-based discrimination (http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/node/143).

Why don't you call up the HR person and ask for the company to put in writing the specific reasons why they won't extend your coverage to the end of the month as they do for others?  Just be very pleasant about it and tell them your lawyer asked for the specific reason in writing.

Thanks.

I guess my point is that he is saying I can't be retired because of my age, so he is discriminating against me based on age.  Also, I retired early partly because of documented anxiety related to the work place.  So, if I left my career early because of mental health issues, should that be held against me?

I'll check out the link.

BPA

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2016, 07:57:25 PM »
@Blue House:  That is a good idea too.

Also, there is no standard definition of "retired" where I work, so I'm not sure how he can say that retirees get benefits to the end of the month in which they retire, but I do not.  I am only assuming at this point that it is age-related. 

I am pretty angry right now, so will wait until I am in a calmer frame of mind before writing to him again.

ShortInSeattle

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2016, 09:29:47 PM »
I understand why you are steamed. Sorry you're needing to deal with this during what should be a positive transition.

soupcxan

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2016, 07:58:00 AM »
Where I work in the US, there is a written policy that defines "retirement" with a certain age and years of service. If you don't meet those requirements, you have not "retired" from the company's point of view (as it impacts your benefits) even if you personally are retiring. Like it or not, that's the rule where I work.

boarder42

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2016, 08:07:28 AM »
Where I work in the US, there is a written policy that defines "retirement" with a certain age and years of service. If you don't meet those requirements, you have not "retired" from the company's point of view (as it impacts your benefits) even if you personally are retiring. Like it or not, that's the rule where I work.

yep same here i believe to "retire" from my company you must be at least 55 years old. it allows you to purchase health insurance at the company rate for the rest of your life.  I'm not sure if its a good rate.  It also allows you to hold on to your company stock for 1 extra year and reap the dividends and gains over that next year. we are employee owned so all stock must be sold back and rolled into a trad IRA(if you're smart, many take lump sum and then owe insane tax) when you leave regardless of the age.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2016, 08:11:13 AM »
Age of retirement is not a protected (or analogous) ground under the Ontario Human Rights Code. This is not legal advice, but you will be politely laughed out of the OHRT if you try to proceed with a claim.

If you want to hear that same information from people who can give you legal advice, you may wish to contact the Human Rights Legal Support Centre. Their website is http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/home and they have lots of useful resources, including a "Have you experienced Discrimination" resource to help determine if you have experience Code-based discrimination (http://www.hrlsc.on.ca/en/node/143).

Thanks.

I guess my point is that he is saying I can't be retired because of my age, so he is discriminating against me based on age.  Also, I retired early partly because of documented anxiety related to the work place.  So, if I left my career early because of mental health issues, should that be held against me?

I'll check out the link.

ETA:  I wasn't planning on going to a tribunal, but rather was looking for leverage for when I escalate to his boss, or if possible point it out to him.  I wouldn't waste a tribunal's time for the cost of orthotics.

Is Age discrimination in Canada protected based on all ages?
In the US, age discrimination related to employment is only protected if you are over 40. And it only protects employees if they were discriminated against for being too old... preferential treatment can be provided to older workers over younger ones (even if all the workers involved are over 40).  The law is pretty messed up, so maybe yours isn't.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 08:29:59 AM by iowajes »

BPA

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2016, 09:03:14 AM »
There is no defined age of retirement at my former employer.  And when I called the guy's office, I used the word "resign" and they told me I would be covered until the end of the month. 

Called to pay my orthotics bill via credit card since I don't want them to be screwed.  I explained what was going on.  They said that this has never happened to any of the many teachers who have resigned/retired from my employer.  The benefits always run to the end of the month. 

Dezrah

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2016, 05:29:29 PM »
If all you're doing is extending your benefits to the end of the month, it sounds like the manager is just being an ass.  He's clearly in the wrong and I don't think you should hesitate to call his boss.  Just explain there's clearly been a mistake but it has to be resolved.  I doubt you'll even need to threaten them lawsuits.  If you want, you can probably just make it clear that you since you've "quit/retired/whatever", you have lots of time on your hands so you'll be sure to "keep in touch daily" to make sure the matter gets resolved.  They'll fix it just to make to you leave them alone.

BPA

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2016, 10:36:17 PM »
If all you're doing is extending your benefits to the end of the month, it sounds like the manager is just being an ass.  He's clearly in the wrong and I don't think you should hesitate to call his boss.  Just explain there's clearly been a mistake but it has to be resolved.  I doubt you'll even need to threaten them lawsuits.  If you want, you can probably just make it clear that you since you've "quit/retired/whatever", you have lots of time on your hands so you'll be sure to "keep in touch daily" to make sure the matter gets resolved.  They'll fix it just to make to you leave them alone.

:-D

This was the plan I've settled on and thought I should come back to update.  The fact that I contacted their office and was told that I would be covered should be enough.  Also, people who resign and people who retire pay the same amount toward their benefits.  It makes no sense that one group would be advantaged over another.  It would make more sense if he said no one was covered to the end of the month. 

So, I'm not even going to bring up age.  Also, I am hoping that this guy's boss will see that I'm willing to pay back the overpaid salary if they fix the benefits problem and it might be difficult to get that money back if they piss me off. 

It's weird with the overpayment.  They overpaid me but then need to pay me for a retroactive raise.  They want me to pay back the overpayment and then they will cut me a cheque for the retroactive raise once I've paid them back.  Why not just ask for a lower overpayment and not send me a cheque? 

I've asked around and unlike in some of the employers of others in the thread, there is no real definition of retired.  As for needing to be over a certain age in Ontario, I'm not sure.  I don't think so.  But I really don't know for sure. 

Thanks for the input, everyone. 

ooeei

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2016, 06:20:13 AM »
It's weird with the overpayment.  They overpaid me but then need to pay me for a retroactive raise.  They want me to pay back the overpayment and then they will cut me a cheque for the retroactive raise once I've paid them back.  Why not just ask for a lower overpayment and not send me a cheque? 

Because that's a way more complicated situation for accounting. 

BPA

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2016, 08:09:54 AM »
It's weird with the overpayment.  They overpaid me but then need to pay me for a retroactive raise.  They want me to pay back the overpayment and then they will cut me a cheque for the retroactive raise once I've paid them back.  Why not just ask for a lower overpayment and not send me a cheque? 

Because that's a way more complicated situation for accounting.

Well, they haven't done a whole lot to inspire trust in me, so I may just make the adjustment myself and if it's complicated for them, I won't care.

ooeei

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2016, 08:23:28 AM »
It's weird with the overpayment.  They overpaid me but then need to pay me for a retroactive raise.  They want me to pay back the overpayment and then they will cut me a cheque for the retroactive raise once I've paid them back.  Why not just ask for a lower overpayment and not send me a cheque? 

Because that's a way more complicated situation for accounting.

Well, they haven't done a whole lot to inspire trust in me, so I may just make the adjustment myself and if it's complicated for them, I won't care.

Yeah, I'm not saying it excuses their behavior here, but that's why they want to have separate checks written out.

MidWestLove

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2016, 07:33:50 PM »
Not a lawyer - however, I would first check what company policy says.

In my company that is laying me off , I would had an option of retiring if both
- age over 55
- years of service >10

as 'retired' I get to instantly vest unvested options/RSU among other things.
if not 'retired', I do not get any of that.
it does not matter what I want as company/HR policy clearly stated exactly how they define retirement. what does yours say?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 07:35:22 PM by MidWestLove »

jorjor

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Re: Discrimination Because I'm an Early Retiree
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2016, 07:29:21 AM »
Is there not a benefits handbook with policies in writing that you can request which will clearly state whether or not you are covered until the end of the month?

I got a copy of that before I left my previous company, so I could challenge them if they didn't follow their own policies. As a result of the wording in that handbook, I got paid a bonus I was owed after challenging them on it. The bonus check was mailed to me after I left. Now, they claim I am never allowed to work there again after challenging them on that, but I am not too concerned about missing out on that opportunity...