Top court sides with pregnant teachers over maternity benefits: advocacy group

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VANCOUVER - A women's advocacy group says Canada's top court has ruled in favour of the B.C. teachers' union in an employment dispute over maternity benefits.

At issue in the case between the B.C. Teachers' Federation and its employer were two types of special employment benefits covering pregnancy and parental leave.

The union argued the B.C. Public School Employers' Association was discriminating against female teachers by denying them parental benefits if they had already received pregnancy benefits.

The B.C. Court of Appeal appeal had dismissed an earlier union grievance and ruled there was no unequal treatment of the women represented by the Surrey local of the BCTF.

West Coast Leaf, which intervened on the side of the union, says the country's highest court has recognized the unique needs of pregnant women with its ruling, which is not yet available online.

The employers' association says it is reviewing the decision and is not yet prepared to comment.

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