Executive Peace of Mind, Worldwide.
EXAMPLES OF EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES
LIABILITY CLAIMS COVERED IN QUEBEC
In Québec, recourses similar to EPL claims may be filed under various legislation.
* It should be noted that most cases rendered and listed throughout the following sections are rendered in French (no translation);
most judgments rendered by the Superior Court of Quebec are also rendered in French.
1. CHARTER OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS, R.S.Q., c. c-12.
Plaintiffs alleging violation of Charter rights can file before the Commission des droits de la personne complaints alleging violation of their
human rights (race, colour, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, civil status, age, religion, political convictions, language, ethnic or national
origin, social condition, handicap or harassment on the basis of any of these grounds).
The Commission des droits de la personne will investigate the complaint and, if it is of the opinion that the complaint is well founded, will,
after trying to settle the matter, submit an application to the Human Rights Tribunal. The Tribunal has jurisdiction to order the cessation of
any interference with any right or freedom and the compensation of moral and material damages; in the case of unlawful and intentional
interference, the Tribunal also has jurisdiction to award exemplary damages.
Human Rights Tribunal
Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse c. systèmes de drainage Modernes inc., (French)
2009 QCTDP 10 (Justice Michèle Pauzé, May 4, 2009);
Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse c. Laval (Ville de)(Service de sécurité d’incendies), (French)
2009 QCTDP 4 (Justice Michèle Rivest, March 5, 2009);
Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse c. Société de transport de Montréal, (French)
2008 QCTDP 29 (Justice Michèle Pauzé, December 3, 2008).
2. CIVIL CODE OF QUEBEC
Non-unionized employees who are terminated without notice and without a serious reason may file a civil recourse claiming all damages
resulting from such termination. Generally, damages will be equal to wages and benefits an employee would have enjoyed if proper notice
had been given. Additional damages may be awarded when the manner of the resiliation of the employment contract has been abusive.
Santos c. HMI Industries Inc., 2008 QCCS 2948 (Justice Claude Auclair, May 15, 2008); (English)
Scholes c. Colas, 2009 QCCS 2337 (Justice François Tôth, May 26, 2009); (French)
McBrearty c. Cerescorp Company, 2009 QCCS 3134 (Justice A. Derek Guthrie, July 9, 2009); (English)
Polger c. Congrès juif Canadian, 2009 QCCS 2041 (Justice Claude Larouche, May 11, 2009)(in appeal); (French)
Brousseau c. LDS (Laboratoires diagnostiques inc., 2009 QCCS 1975 (Justice Michel Déziel, May 6, 2009). (French)
3. ACT RESPECTING LABOUR STANDARDS, R.S.Q., c. N-1.1
Employees may file complaints under this Act when they allege a violation of various provisions:
- sickness leave;
- pregnancy, maternity, paternity or parental leave;
- psychological harassment;
- any other right protected by the Act.
Employees who have been terminated in violation of the Act are entitled to be reinstated with full retroactive pay. In the case of
psychological harassment, employees may also be entitled to punitive and moral damages and payment for psychological support. The
Commission may also order the payment of an indemnity for loss of employment rather than ordering the reinstatement of the employee.
Under this Act, employees (other than senior managers) who have two years of service may also contest their dismissal if they believe that
they have not been dismissed for a good and sufficient cause (s. 124). In such cases, employees may be reinstated with full retroactive
pay; the Commission may order the payment of an indemnity for loss of employment rather than reinstating the employee.
It should be noted that unionized employees cannot file complaints alleging psychological harassment or termination without just and
sufficient cause; they have to file a grievance under the applicable collective agreement. Unionized employees can, however, file
complaints based on all other grounds under the Act. The Commission des relations du travail has jurisdiction to hear complaints filed under
From a practical point of view, it should be noted that many more complaints will be filed under the Act respecting Labour Standards since
there are no legal costs to do so for an employee; furthermore, employees enjoy the free services of a lawyer of the Commission des
normes du travail.
Civil recourses will usually be exercised by management representatives who can afford the costs of civil litigation.
Complaints under the Charter also can be filed by employees in some cases; however, recourses under the Act respecting Labour
Standards are more expeditive and therefore, more popular.
Commission des Relations du Travail
Complaints alleging violation of a specific right protected by the Act
Lalande c. Ville de Terrebonne, 2005 QCCRT 0369 (commissioner Alain Turcotte, June 30, 2005); (French)
Marcel Élie de Voyer c. Demas Solutions inc., 2009 QCCRT 0173 (commissioner Louise Verdone, April 20, 2009);
Marcovecchio c. Communications Softel inc., 2009 QCCRT 0128 (commissioner Benoît Monette, March 18, 2009);
Hassam c. Le Groupe Comagest, 2009 QCCRT 0267 (commissioner Irène Zaïkoff, June 18, 2009);
Rouleau c. Université de Montréal, 2009 QCCRT 0277 (commissioner Louise Verdone, June 25, 2009);
Dismissal without good and sufficient cause
Gilles c. Ciba Spécialités chimiques Canada inc., 2008 QCCRT 0134 (commissioner Myriam Bédard, March 19, 2008);
Dumont c. Giguère portes et fenêtres inc., 2008 QCCRT 0137 (commissioner Jacques Daigle, March 20, 2008);
Commission des Relations du Travail (Continued)
Dismissal without good and sufficient cause
Leblanc c. Ville de New Richmond, 2009 QCCRT 0426 (commissioner Jacques Daigle, September 23, 2009);
Hacikyaner c. Industrielle Alliance, assurance et services financiers inc., 2009 QCCRT 0374 (commissioner Guy Roy, August 25, 2009);
Roy c. Fer ornemental de Beauport inc., 2005 QCCRT 0595 (commissioner Bernard Marceau, October 28, 2005);
Guindon c. Corporation de sécurité Garda World, 2009 QCCRT 0050 (commissioner Benoît Monette, February 4, 2009). This decision
has been contested before the Superior Court by way of a motion for judicial review which is still pending.