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  • The Arbitrator’s decision in the case of Centre Jeunesse de Montréal – It has the authority to set rules for proper dress, piercings, tattoos and personal appearance in the workplace

    The employer, Centre jeunesse de Montréal – University Institute (hereinafter the "Centre"), adopted a dress code as well as a piercings, tattoos and personal appearance policy for its employees (hereinafter the "Policy").Although the validity of the Policy was contested by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, local 4268 (hereinafter the "Union"), the arbitrator, Mr. Carol Jobin, found nearly the entire contents of the Policy to be valid in an extensive 60-page decision rendered last April 13.

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  • The Court of Appeal confirms that a distinction based on age provided for by section 56 of the AIAOD is not discriminatory

    On June 14, 2012, the Quebec Court of Appeal confirmed the validity of the second paragraph of section 56 of the Act Respecting Industrial Accidents and Occupational Diseases (hereinafter the “AIAOD” or the “Act”). Although this paragraph establishes a distinction based on age, the Court of Appeal is of the opinion that it is neither invalid nor discriminatory. The Court came to this conclusion in particular because the appellant, Mr. Bernard Côté, a worker 64 years old at the time his employment injury occurred, had not shown that the application of this paragraph created a disadvantage resulting from treatment different than that reserved for younger workers.

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  • Can the refusal to sign a non-competition clause constitute just and sufficient cause for dismissal?

    In a recent decision, Jean c. Omegachem inc., the Court of Appeal answered that question by ruling that an employee’s refusal to sign a non-competition agreement during employment, which had been discussed when the employee was hired but presented to him three years after commencement of employment, is not a just and sufficient cause for dismissal. This judgment overrules the two decisions rendered by the Commission des relations du travail (hereinafter “CRT”) as well as the judgment rendered by the Superior Court of Québec in this case.

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  • Negotiations in the construction industry: At last a role for the ultimate clients

    Bill 33, whose very title announced the elimination of union placement of employees to improve the operation of the construction industry, was assented to on December 2, 2011, and it has raised a lot of comments.The media made a great deal of the changes proposed in this Bill, regarding mainly union placement of employees in the construction industry.This Bill was also meant to spell out the terms of the negotiations to take place in the construction industry starting in the fall of 2012.  

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  • Disciplinary Measures relating to the use of Computer Equipment : Coca-Cola is forced to reinstate an employee

    The Commission des relations du travail (the «Commission») recently ruled on the way in which an employer proceeded to impose a disciplinary measure on an employee due to his use of computer equipment belonging to the employer.On October 11, 2011, the Commission allowed the complaint filed by the employee under section 124 of the Labour Standards Act alleging that his employer had dismissed him without just cause.In Caron v. Compagnie Rafraîchissements Coca-Cola Canada, the employer had reproached the complainant for having made inappropriate use of computer equipment put at his disposal, having navigated on the Internet for personal purposes during his working hours (theft of time), and having downloaded and stored pornographic images on his computer, the whole in contravention of the policies and code of ethics in force in the business.

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  • The Court of Appeal confirms the right of an employer to continue its operations during a labour dispute

    On September 14, 2011, the Court of Appeal of Quebec rendered a significant decision in the context of the labour dispute which occurred at the Journal de Québec in 2007 2008. This decision sheds some light on the scope of the “anti strikebreaker” provisions of the Labour Code (Quebec).Affirming the judgment of the Superior Court, the Court of Appeal noted that an employer may have the work of employees on strike or locked out performed by persons employed by a third person, provided that it is not performed in the establishment (premises) where the work stoppage has been declared.

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  • The Superior Court Overturns the Decision of the Commission des lésions professionnelles: the Reduction of the Income Replacement Indemnity at Age 65 is not Discriminatory

    On March 18, 2010, the Commission des lésions professionnelles (“CLP”), in the case of Côté et Traverse Rivière-du-Loup, declared invalid section 56 of An Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases (the “AIAOD”). It found that the section was discriminatory because it contravenes with section 10 of the Charter of human rights and freedoms and section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.Section 56 AIAOD provides for a reduction of the income replacement indemnity on the worker’s 65th birthday or beginning in the second year following the date of the start of the disability where the em¬ployment injury occurs when the worker is 64 years of age or older.The decision of the CLP was reversed by the Superior Court (2011 QCCS 610) in a judgment concluding that section 56 of the AIAOD does not contravene the Canadian and Quebec Charters.The proposed bulletin reviews the reasons for this judgment, which is now appealed before the Supreme Court.

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  • Update on Planned Production Shutdowns

    Since 1968, labour relations in the construction industry have been governed by a specific statute, the Act respecting labour relations, vocational training and workforce management in the construction industry.At the time, R-20 was enacted to put some order in an industry struggling with an increasing number of applications for certification and regional decrees.Determining the scope of application of this Act has always been a sensitive issue and, over the years, the Act has been amended to make the required adjustments, particularly by excluding work similar to construction work but carried out around this industry.The preceding bulletin addresses the issue of coverage of the work related to the planned production shutdowns for maintenance purposes.

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  • The Supreme Court of Canada Confirms the Jurisdiction of Arbitrators to Decide if Grievances Based on Section 124 of the Arls are Admissible

    On July 29, 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered three judgments in which five of the nine judges declared that grievance arbitrators have jurisdiction to decide whether employees who do not have job security and grievance rights under a collective agreement may file grievances based on section 124 of An Act respecting labour standards.In June 2008, the Court of Appeal, then seized of the same dispute, had concluded that the Labour Relations Board had exclusive jurisdiction over such grievances.Although this decision contains an elaborate and articulate dissent, the reasons of the majority set the tone to follow.Thus, and despite the provisions of a collective agreement preventing the filing of a grievance in cases of termination of employment, an employee having two years of uninterrupted service could base himself on section 124 of the ARLS to institute his recourse before an arbitrator.The Court was nevertheless unanimous in rejecting the theory of implicit incorporation of a standard public order. 

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