Quebec employers can’t waive notice period provided by resigning employee without providing notice

October 19, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Mohamed Badreddine

Most employers in Quebec know that under Quebec’s Act Respecting Labour Standards (ALS) and the Civil Code of Québec (CCQ), an employer who wishes to terminate an indefinite contract of employment without serious reason must provide notice or pay in lieu of notice. Employees who wish to resign must also give their employer notice of resignation.

In Commission des normes du travail v. Asphalte Desjardins inc., the Supreme Court of Canada held that when an employee gives notice of resignation, the employer cannot waive the notice period and terminate the contract of employment without providing notice or pay in lieu of notice. read more…

Disloyal conduct may justify termination

August 31, 2014 0 COMMENTS

by Mohamed Badreddine

There is little dispute that senior employees owe a duty of good faith and loyalty to their employers. But what about junior employees—do they owe their employers the same duty? And if so, can they be fired if they violate that duty? Depending on the situation, the answer may be yes—at least in Quebec. read more…

Employee solicitation: Do you have any recourse?

March 16, 2014 0 COMMENTS

By Sébastien Gobeil

We have often reported on how Canadian courts enforce, or do not enforce, noncompete and nonsolicitation clauses. But those cases have focused on the solicitation of the former employer’s customers or clients. What happens when a former employee solicits your employees to leave, leading to a series of resignations? Do you have any recourse? read more…

Facebook postings fair game for employers

June 16, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Frederic Parisien

Can Canadian employers use information from their employees’ Facebook pages in managing the employment relationship? Not an age-old question, but one debated in recent years.

In many provinces, the answer was “yes.” But in other provinces, such as Quebec, some commentators took a more cautious approach. In a recent decision, the appeal division of Quebec’s Workers’ Compensation Board (the Commission des lésions professionnelles) said “yes,” Canadian employers may use information learned from their employees’ Facebook account if there is nothing to suggest that the account’s contents were accessed using fraudulent schemes, subterfuges, or other underhanded means. read more…

When time is the very essence of your job, best not be late …

April 28, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Michel Bellemare

Every job has its own peculiarities. What might be a minor shortcoming in one type of employment could be catastrophic in another. This is especially true when the breach touches on the very heart of the duties assigned to an employee. This, at least, is what an employee learned in a recent Quebec case: Mardik v. Nova Bus. (2013 QCCS 1152; decision available in French only). read more…

The power of a PIP – performance improvement plan

March 17, 2013 0 COMMENTS

By Marie-Julie Lanctôt

Under their management rights, employers may establish fair, accurate, and achievable performance standards. A recent decision from the Labour Relations Board of Quebec, Piché et Impérial Tobacco Compagnie ltée, 2012 QCCRT 0600 (decision available in French only), serves to illustrate how Canadian employers may properly dismiss employees for poor work performance despite the fact that Canada doesn’t have at-will employment. read more…

Employer’s Right to Reduce Pension Benefits

January 09, 2012 0 COMMENTS

By Lyne Duhaime

In most Canadian jurisdictions, employers are limited in retroactively reducing pension benefits. The Quebec Superior Court recently considered employers’ rights in this regard in Synertech Moulded Products, Division of Old Castle Buildings v. Tribunal Administratif du Québec et al.

The court ordered the Quebec Regulator to register pension amendments proposed by the employer and said that absent specific powers, the Quebec Regulator could not arbitrarily refuse to register pension amendments to which affected employees had agreed.

read more…

Adding Insult to Injury: Canada’s ‘Vexatious’ Harassment Laws

September 11, 2011 0 COMMENTS

By Julia Kennedy and Sean McGurran

Bullying isn’t just a problem on the playground anymore. Eventually the bullies grow up and get jobs. Now Canadian employers are seeing more laws dealing with harassment in the workplace.

read more…

Ex Gratia Payments in Pension Plan Allowed

August 14, 2011 0 COMMENTS

By Lyne Duhaime

On June 21, 2011, in Canadian Jewish Congress v. Polger, the Court of Appeal of Quebec overturned a decision of the Superior Court that had ordered an employer to pay millions of dollars in pension benefits based only on an alleged practice and without proper written documentation to that effect. The pension benefits in this case were deemed to be ex gratia payments only, not required to be paid to all departing employees by virtue of policy or practice.

Facts
Leona Polger and Abraham Smajovits had worked for the Canadian Jewish Congress for 36 and 22 years respectively when they were dismissed following a reorganization. Not surprisingly, they sued for termination pay. They included in their action a claim for supplemental pension benefits that they said weren’t provided in their defined contribution pension plan.

read more…

Quebec Employer Not Entitled to Review Employee’s Email to Union

May 02, 2011 0 COMMENTS

By Antoine Aylwin

A month ago, we reported on the Ontario Court of Appeal’s surprising decision in R. v. Cole.  In that decision the Court of Appeal said that a high school teacher was protected against searches on his work computer by the police absent a search warrant. The Court of Appeal based its decision on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Recently, an arbitrator in Quebec also considered an employee’s Charter rights, this time the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. It said that Laval University violated an employee’s Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms when it reviewed an email sent by the employee — on the university’s systems — to the union.

Facts
At issue was a brief exchange of emails on January 16, 2007: read more…

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