Medical assessment gives reasonable grounds for employee surveillance

October 09, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Mikaël Maher

Surveillance may be an effective way for an employer to confirm or dispel their doubts about the legitimacy of a disability claim. But when is it legally permissible in Canada? In the recent decision Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Vallée de la Gatineau v. Martin [1], the Quebec Superior Court weighed in on this issue. It set aside a 2013 arbitration award that excluded video surveillance evidence. Despite a medical assessment finding that the disability claim was fake, the arbitrator had ruled that the employer did not have reasonable grounds to undertake the surveillance. The court disagreed.

Generally, the employer’s right to undertake surveillance is limited in Canada, to protect the fundamental right to privacy of all employees. Courts and tribunals have ruled that before initiating a surveillance operation, an employer must have reasonable grounds for conducting it. Even if there are reasonable grounds, surveillance must be done in the least intrusive manner possible. read more…

Quebec court upholds cause termination of employee for a single incident of theft

April 17, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Marie-Ève Gagnon

Theft of merchandise by employees continues to be a recurring and costly problem for Canadian employers. The courts, however, do acknowledge the seriousness of the issue. Dismissal is often found to be an appropriate disciplinary response regardless of the value of the items stolen or whether the theft is repeated—unless mitigating factors are present that would justify a lesser penalty. read more…

Employees’ smartphones as potential sources of evidence

August 04, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Antoine Aylwin and Edith Charbonneau

Your employee quits his job and returns his smartphone. It contains information that shows he was scheming against you. What can you do with this? Could you use the e-mails found in the smartphone as evidence? This question was recently ruled upon by the Quebec Superior Court in Les Images Turbo inc. v. Marquis. read more…

Ex-Employee to Pay Employer

October 25, 2011 0 COMMENTS

By Lyne Duhaime
When an employee in Canada fails to fulfill his functions as expected, the ultimate consequence is a termination of employment “for cause,” which implies that no notice or other severance is paid to him by the employer. The Superior Court of Quebec recently went further.

In Valeurs mobilières Desjardins inc. v. Beaulne, an investment advisor was also ordered to pay his former employer, Valeurs mobilières Desjardins inc. (VMD), $141,233.96 with costs. Why? To compensate VMD for amounts it had to pay a client who suffered damages because of the advisor’s failure to follow the client’s instructions.

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Wal-Mart’s Follow-Up: A Consolation Prize for Unions?

November 08, 2010 1 COMMENTS

By Chris Semerjian

The Quebec Superior Court recently upheld an arbitration award against Wal-Mart regarding the  closure of its store in the town of Jonquière in 2005. That closure is now also affecting Wal-Mart elsewhere in Canada. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal recently indicated that Wal-Mart’s actions in Quebec possibly could be perceived as an intimidation tactic against Saskatchewan employees. Here is an update of the cases.

Facts
In February 2005, after the Jonquière workers had voted to become the first unionized Wal-Mart store in North America, the company announced it was closing the store. It did so on April 29, 2005. About 190 employees were laid off.

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