All posts filed under: Employment & labour law

Legislation that forced government lawyers and notaries back-to-work unconstitutional

A Quebec court ruling that declared unconstitutional a special law that forced provincial government lawyers and notaries to put a halt to the longest Canadian strike by public civil servants may give them much-needed ammunition to persuade the Quebec government to introduce binding arbitration, according to legal experts.

Court awards former Quebec paramedics $1.2M over subway scare

Montreal’s transit authority has been ordered by Quebec Superior Court to pay two former paramedics more than $1.2 million for a scare that left them unable to work in their profession.

Why it matters: The ruling highlights one of the singular situations where an injured worker can bring a civil suit even though one of the cardinal principles behind Quebec’s occupational health and safety regime is that workers cannot bring a civil liability suit against their employer because of the injury.

Quebec government expected to impose labour agreement on its lawyers and notaries

The Quebec government is expected to impose a labour agreement on government lawyers and notaries that will give them the lowest salary hike of all Quebec public civil servants after months of negotiations with a mediator failed to find common ground.

Without a collective agreement since March 2015, Quebec ‘s 1,100 government lawyers and notaries held the longest Canadian strike by public civil servants, from October 2016 to March 1, 2017, before it was forced to back to work after the government passed an unusual back-to-work decree.

Quebec administrative justice paralysed by strike

The longest Canadian strike by public civil servants came to an abrupt end after the Quebec government passed a special law that compelled striking government lawyers and notaries back-to-work following a labour conflict that paralyzed the province’s administrative justice system and incapacitated the government’s efforts to pass legislation and enact regulations.

The unusual back-to-work decree calls for the provincial government and Les avocats et notaires de l’État québécois (LANEQ) to return to the negotiating table to bargain “in good faith” with the help of a mediator whose recommendations are non-binding. If an agreement is not reached within 105 days following the passage of Bill 127, the provincial government will impose a labour agreement that calls for a 5.25 per cent salary increase over five years compared to the 9.15 per cent increase Quebec’s 450,000 public sector workers received.

Montreal blue collar union fined $100,000 for contempt of court

Montreal’s blue collar union and its controversial president and executives were sentenced to pay $103,000, the maximum fine allowable, for contempt of court after organizing an illegal one-day strike in spite of an injunction issued by a labour tribunal the previous day.

The stern ruling, one of only a handful over the past decade that have found Quebec unions guilty of contempt of court, is intended to send a harsh warning to the labour movement that the courts will not tolerate willful blindness, according to labour lawyers.

Quebec government discriminated against jurists on maternity leave, rules appeal court

Quebec government lawyers and notaries, forced back to work after Canada’s longest public sector strike, won a legal battle against the provincial government after the Quebec Court of Appeal held that the government discriminated against jurists on maternity leave.

In a nuanced decision that will provide comfort to both employers and labour organizations, the appeal court found that it is not discriminatory if employers under certain circumstances “distinguish” for purposes of compensation between employees who provide services to employers and those who do not such as those in maternity or sick leave.

But the appeal court added that it is discriminatory if employers provide different compensation to different groups of employees who do not provide services to employers, if the distinction was based on prohibited grounds.

Quebec Human Rights Tribunal awards damages to employee fired because of her health condition

A retirement home has been ordered by the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal to pay more than $11,000 in material, moral and punitive damages to an employee who was fired because of her health condition.

The “important” decision reaffirms the wide reach of article 18.1 of the Quebec Charter of human rights and freedoms, which circumscribes information-gathering at the pre-hiring stage, highlights the importance for employers to have thorough pre-employment medical questionnaires that do not breach the Charter, and underscores the need for employers to take immediate action when employees demonstrate bad faith, according to employment and human rights lawyers.