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Quebec Ombudsman now has power to investigate public sector whistleblower complaints

Topics: - Whistle Blowing
Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Since May 1, the Québec Ombudsman has had the power to investigate disclosures about wrongdoings committed or about to be committed relating to public bodies.

The source legislation is the Act to facilitate the disclosure of wrongdoings relating to public bodies, which was passed by the Québec government in December 2016.

The law firm of Miller Thompson provides the following context for the legislation: "Following the publication of the report of the Charbonneau Commission which dealt with corruption and collusion in the awarding of public sector contracts in the construction industry, the Liberal government introduced legislation to facilitate the disclosure of wrongful conduct within the public sector and establish measures to protect whistleblowers from reprisals..." (see: "Quebec Introduces Legislation to Encourage Whistleblowing in the Public Sector" (Janaury 16, 2016).

These are some of the FAQs of note from the Ombudsman website:

Q. What is a wrongdoing  read more »

Class action lawsuit launched against Canadian Hockey League for breach of employment standards obligations

Ontario lawyer Ted Charney, Charney Lawyers, announced that he has filed a class action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League for breach of employment standards legislation as it relates to the junior hockey players who play in the league. This is his press release:

CHL CLASS ACTION LAUNCHED TORONTO, October 20, 2014 - A class action has been commenced on behalf of all players in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Western Hockey League (WHL), and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) who entered into contracts with the teams in those leagues. It is alleged that the contracts with the players are employment contracts that contravene the minimum wage set by the legislation governing each jurisdiction where a team is domiciled.

The defendants are the Canadian Hockey League, the OHL, the WHL, the QMJHL, and the sixty teams that play in each of these leagues.  read more »

SCC to hear Quebec case on impact of sale of business, wrongful dismissal on enforceability of non-compete

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

The Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will hear the appeal in Yannick Payette, Mammoet Canada Eastern Ltd., successor to Mammoet Crane Inc. v. Guay inc. (Que. C.A., Dec. 12, 2011) (34662).

As set out in the Court's summary, the key issue on appeal is whether the Quebec Court of Appeal erred in applying a non-competition clause despite the broad scope of the clause and the wrongful termination of employment relationship in light of the Civil Code regime.

By way of background, the Court's summary states:  read more »

SCC refuses leave to appeal in Que notice, pension case involving 2 former Canadian Jewish Congress employees

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

The Supreme Court of Canada dismissed the application for leave to appeal today in Leona Polger, et al. v. Canadian Jewish Congress. (Que. C.A., June 21, 2011) (34438).

The case concerned two long serving employees of the Canadian Jewish Congress ("CJC") - one with 36 years service, the other with 22 years. The employees had been dismissed by the CJC in December 2004 and January 2005.

The Quebec Superior Court had awarded them each 36 months notice and a pension enhancement.

On appeal, the Quebec Court of Appeal had reduced the notice to 24 months and determined that they were not entitled to the pension enhancement. See: Canadian Jewish Congress c. Polger, 2011 QCCA 1169.

For more on this case:  read more »

Quebec basic minimum wage increases from $9.50 to $9.65 an hour effective today

Topics: - Minimum Wage
Jurisdiction: - Quebec

A new minimum wage rates come into effect in Québec beginning today (May 1).

The general rate will increase from $9 to $9.50/hour and the rate for employees earning gratuities will increase $0.25 to $8.25.

The hourly rate payable to employees of certain sectors of the clothing industry
will increase from $9 to $9.50.

See the Government of Québec notice here.

"Quebec Businesses Required to Make Pay-Equity Disclosure"

Topics: - Topical Articles
Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Catherine Gagné, a lawyer at Blakes, has written an article entited, "Quebec Businesses Required to Make Pay-Equity Disclosure". The article was published in Blakes' April 2011 Labour & Employment Bulletin.

The article discusses the Règlement concernant la déclaration de l'employeur en matière d'équité salariale, which came into force on March 31, 2011 and which requires all Quebec businesses employing six (6) people or more and registered with Quebec's Enterprise Registrar to produce an annual declaration in respect of pay equity.

"Workplace Violence And Psychological Harassment: An Overview Of The Quebec Experience"

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Anick Chainey wrote a paper entitled, "Workplace Violence And Psychological Harassment: An Overview Of The Quebec Experience".

Ms. Chainey is a lawyer at the "Commission des normes du travail", the body responsible for the implementation and application of the Labour Standards Act in the province of Quebec.

The paper was prepared for the National Administrative Law, Labour & Employment Law and Privacy & Access Law Conference held on November 26-27, 2010 in Ottawa.

It covers the following topics:

1) Overview of the applicable legislation in the context of workplace violence and harassment in Quebec

a) The Civil Code of Quebec

b) The Occupational health and safety legislatin

c) The Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms  read more »

"How Whistle-Blowing Programs in the Workplace Can Lead to Psychological Harassment"

Jurisdiction: - Quebec

Miller Thomson's April 1, 2011 Labour and Employment Communiqué is entitled, "How Whistle-Blowing Programs in the Workplace Can Lead to Psychological Harassment".

The communiqué summarizes the decision of the Quebec Commission des relations du travail in Bernard c. Olympus NDT Canada inc., 2010 QCCRT 461.

It was written by Marie-Pier Côté in the law firm's Montreal office.