MONTREAL — Every year, thousands of migrant workers enter Canada to work.
Some of the work is seasonal, like picking apples or other fruit in the fields.
Some of the work is gruesome, like working in a slaughterhouse when the animals are ready for market. And some of the work is domestic, like being a nanny.
Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal has ordered new hearings for 102 migrant workers who had their Employment Insurance parental benefits claims turned down.
Ottawa had argued the workers took too long to apply and didn’t show good cause for the delay.
But citing “unique disadvantages’’ of migrant workers “in particular,’’ such as lack of knowledge in English or French, lack of access to telephones or computers, social isolation, long and hard work schedules with little free time, and ineligibility for many social benefits, the court ruled Tuesday that the Office of the Umpire must re-hear each of the 102 cases, keeping these vulnerabilities in mind.