Topic: Québec

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Restriction territoriale des clauses de non-concurrence dans l’industrie technologique – lorsque la limitation semble elle-même avoir une limite

Les clauses de non-concurrence sont régulièrement utilisées tant dans le cadre de contrats commerciaux que dans le cadre de contrats d’emploi. Ces clauses pondèrent d’un côté les intérêts légitimes commerciaux de l’entreprise au droit notamment de l’employé de gagner sa vie. Elles sont donc une exception à la règle de la libre concurrence et, afin d’être légales et légitimes, se doivent d’être limitées raisonnablement quant au temps, au lieu et avoir un objet circonscrit. Lorsque l’une de ces trois (3) limitations impose toutefois une restriction qui va au-delà des intérêts légitimes en cause à protéger, la clause de non-concurrence … Continue Reading

Ralentissement de travail : l’enfer est pavé de bonnes intentions

Perturbations du réseau d’autobus, vitrines vandalisées, courrier accumulé dans les centres de tri … Ces derniers mois, nous avons pu constater que les moyens de pression ne cessent de s’inviter sur la scène médiatique québécoise. À cet égard, le ralentissement de travail demeure un moyen de pression fréquent mais illégal utilisé par les salariés pour manifester leur désaccord. La bonne nouvelle? Lorsqu’un employeur craint un tel ralentissement, il peut rester calme pendant la tempête. Tout est question d’attitude et voici nos deux mots d’ordre : vigilance et justice.

  • Être vigilant

Tout n’est pas noir ou blanc. Les ralentissements de travail … Continue Reading

La nouvelle Loi sur l’équité salariale s’en vient

L’équité salariale occupe une place importante dans l’actualité québécoise et canadienne depuis plusieurs mois. En effet, une importante saga judiciaire s’est terminée en mai 2018 lorsque la Cour suprême a décidé qu’une loi sur l’équité salariale, adoptée par une législature provinciale ou fédérale, ne pouvait refuser aux femmes l’accès à des ajustements rétroactifs en cas de discrimination salariale. Du coup, certaines dispositions de la Loi sur l’équité salariale (LÉS) québécoise étaient déclarées inconstitutionnelles.

Comme d’habitude en pareilles circonstances, le législateur québécois a été invité à retourner sur la planche à dessin et à proposer une nouvelle mouture de la LÉS … Continue Reading

De nouvelles obligations en matière d’équité salariale pour les employeurs de compétence fédérale

Le gouvernement canadien a tenu promesse et a déposé, le 29 octobre dernier, son projet de loi intitulé Loi visant à établir un régime proactif d’équité salariale dans les secteurs public et privé fédéraux. En fait, ce projet de loi fait partie du projet de loi mammouth C-86, Loi no 2 portant exécution de certaines dispositions du budget déposé au Parlement le 27 février 2018 et mettant en oeuvre d’autres mesures. Ainsi, toutes les entreprises sous réglementation fédérale comptant 10 employés ou plus seront tenues de se conformer aux nouvelles obligations en matière d’équité salariale, qui entreront … Continue Reading

Le projet de loi sur la réforme de la LNT: quelles sont les conséquences pour les agences de placement?

Le projet de loi 176 intitulé « Loi modifiant la Loi sur les normes du travail et d’autres dispositions législatives afin principalement de faciliter la conciliation famille-travail » a été déposé par le gouvernement libéral à l’Assemblée nationale à la fin du mois de mars. Plusieurs de ses dispositions auront un impact significatif sur les agences de placement de personnel. Voici quelques-unes de nos observations sur le sujet.

En résumé

En plus d’établir le principe selon lequel une agence ne peut accorder à un salarié un taux de salaire inférieur à celui consenti aux salariés de l’entreprise cliente, le projet … Continue Reading

The proposed bill to amend Québec’s labour standards: what are the effects on placement agencies?

The Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards and other legislative provisions (the bill) was tabled by the liberal government at the National Assembly at the end of March. Several provisions of this bill will have an impact on the businesses of personnel placement agencies. Here is our take on these issues.

In a nutshell

Simply put, in addition to establishing the principle that agency employees may not be remunerated at a lower rate of wage than that granted to the employees of the client enterprise, the bill requires personnel placement agencies and recruitment agencies for temporary foreign workers … Continue Reading

Minimum wage increase in Québec: some employers are flexing their muscles

On May 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Québec was raised from $10.75/hr to $11.25/hr. Although not as substantial as the increases that have recently been implemented in other North American jurisdictions, this raise is still significant when compared with the average annual increase implemented in the province for the past 10 years.

Some employers seem to take this situation as an opportunity to reorganize their employees’ working conditions in the name of profitability. For example, it has been reported in the media that some employers have decided to stop offering the usual 15-minute coffee breaks (which have to be … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court of Canada will hear a pay equity case

In October 2016, we informed our readers and clients that the Québec Court of Appeal had unanimously upheld a Superior Court decision finding certain sections of the Pay Equity Act (Act) unconstitutional. The sections of the Act in question are those relating to retroactivity, employee participation in audits and posting of audit results.

As was expected, the Attorney General of Québec (AGQ) applied for leave to appeal of this decision before the Supreme Court of Canada. On April 27, the highest Court in the country granted this request to the AGQ.

This leaves everyone in limbo as to … Continue Reading

One step closer to legalization

On April 13th, the federal Liberal government tabled the much anticipated Cannabis Act. While many recreational marijuana users now have reason to rejoice, employers across the country are left with unanswered questions as to how the upcoming legalization will affect the workplace.

It’s important to note that although recreational use of cannabis is expected to become legal sometime during the summer of 2018, employees will still be required to show up « fit to work ». Therefore, it will remain possible for employers to discipline employees who are impaired by the use of marijuana while at work – with … Continue Reading

Key employment law developments expected during 2017 in Québec

In the course of the year, it will be interesting to see how the Government of Québec will deal with pay equity matters. In an important decision issued last October, the Québec Court of Appeal declared that several sections of the Pay Equity Act were unconstitutional. More specifically, it struck down the ’09 provisions dealing with the maintain and posting exercises. The Attorney General has filed an application for leave to appeal of this decision before the Supreme court so nothing is settled yet. In addition, the federal government recently announced its intention to compel employers subject to the federal … Continue Reading

Workers and VRSPs – Obligations will soon be enforceable for certain employers

Through the Voluntary Retirement Savings Plans Act, the Québec government aimed at making sure all workers who did not participate in a RSP plan at their workplace had the opportunity to do so. The Act creates different obligations for the employers it covers depending on the number of eligible employees they have on their payroll.

As of 31 December 2016, enterprises covered by the Act must offer a VRSP if, on 30 June 2016, they had 20 or more eligible employees at their service. Employers are not required to financially contribute to the plan but still they have to … Continue Reading

Does the exercise of the religious right to wear a turban override the obligation to wear a safety hat?

On September 21, 2016, the Québec Superior Court issued a judgment (2016 QCCS 4521) concluding that truckers of the Sikh religion were not exempt from the obligation to wear a safety hat while completing certain work-related tasks out of their trucks on various Port of Montréal premises.

The plaintiffs were truckers from different private transportation companies carrying containers to and from several Port of Montréal terminals. They complained that they were denied access to these terminals because of their sincerely held religious beliefs forbidding them to wear a safety hat over their turban.

For a period of nearly three years, … Continue Reading

How to Successfully Include a Restrictive Covenant in a Current Employment Contract

In order to best protect the employer’s commercial interests and competitiveness, it is often crucial to include restrictive covenants in employment contracts. It is of equal importance to ensure that these covenants respect the limits established in the case law for them to be enforceable by the courts. Indeed, they may be deemed null and void if they are proven to be ambiguous or too broad.

The question then becomes: what happens if an employer omits to include a restrictive covenant in an employment contract? Is it possible to insert such a provision during the employment relationship? It appears that … Continue Reading

Quebec Labour Tribunal rules on decision to terminate a high paid employee

The Tribunal administratif du travail recently released Major c. Nova DM Média Canada inc., 2016 QCTAT 4423, which clarified an employer’s burden of proof to demonstrate that an employee was laid off as part of an administrative reorganization rather than dismissed not for good and sufficient cause.

In this decision, administrative judge François Caron relied on Selianov c. ABPTS inc., 2010 QCCRT 0138, in order to explain the burden of proof in the context of redundancy dismissals. Selianov established that in case of dismissal, the employer must prove, on a balance of probabilities, that the economic … Continue Reading

A new model of discrimination?

Last December, the French government passed a bill decreeing that models must now obtain a medical certification in order to be able to work in France. Companies found not to be respecting the new law will be liable to a fine of more than 75,000 euros (approximately $CAN 108,000 at the current exchange rate) and their directors could also be forced to serve up to six (6) months in prison. France is not the first country to adopt a law banning unhealthy models. In 2012, the Israeli government passed a similar law. In some other countries like Spain, Italy and … Continue Reading

The Duty to Accommodate Employees Suffering from Drug Addiction or Alcoholism in Quebec

Alcoholism and drug addiction have been recognized as diseases pursuant to the definition of a “handicap” established within the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.  Therefore, an employee suffering from limitations related to his or her addiction is afforded protection against discrimination guaranteed by the Quebec Charter in Article 10.

What does it mean to accommodate an employee with a handicap in the workplace? The Supreme Court of Canada answered this question in 2008 in the Hydro-Québec case. It stated that the duty to accommodate ends where the employee is no longer able to fulfill the basic obligations … Continue Reading

Improper Comments on Social Networks: A Serious Cause Justifying Dismissal?

The employment contract of a “Montreal Impact Academy’s U14” team coach was recently terminated as he made racist comments on his private Facebook page following the defeat of France against Portugal in the Euro 2016 final. In a news release, the Montreal Impact shortly dissociated itself from these comments, considering that they were totally unacceptable and against the fundamental values of the club and of the Academy.

This case is interesting in that it raises the issue of whether an employer can lawfully dismiss an employee having an improper conduct on the Internet. It serves as an accurate example of … Continue Reading

Damages to the Reputation: A Serious Motive for Termination?

What constitutes a serious motive to terminate an employee under a fixed-term employment contract? Recent events in Quebec raise this question as the province’s former deputy premier Nathalie Normandeau was dismissed by her employer, a Quebec City radio station, even though her contract expired in August 2019. This occurred after the deposition of seven criminal charges against the former politician by the Permanent Anticorruption Unit (“UPAC”), including corruption, fraud toward the government, conspiracy, breach of trust and use of forged documents. These accusations are part of the investigations conducted by UPAC in Quebec regarding political financing in exchange of public … Continue Reading

Uber and its drivers in Quebec: Who are they?

The saga opposing the multinational Uber to taxi drivers has been raging in the province of Quebec for nearly two years. We have witnessed a multiplication of public interventions coming from both camps in order to rally to their respective cause both the government and the majority of the population.

Taxi drivers, represented by a strong lobby, mainly argue that all taxi-like drivers should be submitted to the same rules such as holding a class 4C driver’s licence and being part of a professional association subjecting them to precise rules and norms of conduct. At the opposite end of the … Continue Reading

What Protection do Employees have Against Race Discrimination?

Discrimination in Quebec’s labour relations is mainly covered by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. Both protect an employee from being wronged by his employer based on race or ethnical differences. They offer employees a broad scope of protection namely with regards to hiring, dismissal, apprenticeship and conditions of employment.

As the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal recently reminded, “race discrimination” is subtle and can take various forms. In the light of the foregoing:

“(…) it should be kept in mind that discrimination is not usually practiced overtly or even

Continue Reading

Une entente de principe dans le secteur de l’automobile au Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean

Le lock-out sévissant depuis bientôt trois (3) ans dans le secteur de l’automobile au Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, un des plus longs conflits de travail au Québec, est terminé! En effet, une entente de principe est intervenue le 14 janvier 2016 entre le Syndicat démocratique des employés de garage du Saguenay‑Lac‑Saint‑Jean (CSD) (le Syndicat), représentant dans le présent conflit environ quatre cents (400) salariés de garage et la Corporation des concessionnaires automobiles du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean-Chibougamau (la Corporation), une association d’employeurs dont vingt-cinq (25) concessionnaires automobiles sont impliqués dans le conflit.

La loi spéciale

Rappelons que devant l’impasse du présent conflit, le Ministre … Continue Reading

What implications does a change in the ownership of a business have for employment?

In Quebec, many legal consequences must be considered when the alienation or concession of a business occurs, especially those that are related to labour relations. More specifically, what implications does a transfer as such have on the alienated or licenced business’ employees? In order to answer this question, it is of utmost importance to first determine whether the relevant situation occurs in a unionized environment or not.

Unionized employees

If the employees that work for the alienated business are unionized, section 45 of the Labour Code[1] is henceforth applicable and provides that the alienation or the operation – by … Continue Reading

Moyens de pression des enseignants québécois : attention!

En novembre l’an dernier, la Fédération des syndicats de l’enseignement (ci-après « FSE ») faisait connaître ses demandes syndicales en vue de l’année de négociation nationale qui débutait pour les enseignantes et enseignants québécois (ci-après « les enseignants »). Parmi ses demandes, se retrouvaient entre autres : plus d’autonomie pour le personnel enseignant, du temps et des services pour les élèves (diminution du ratio maîtres-élèves, pondération des élèves avec troubles de comportement, ajout de ressources enseignantes, etc.) et une meilleure équité pour les jeunes enseignants et pour celles et ceux à statut précaire.

Afin de faire entendre leurs revendications, plusieurs … Continue Reading

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