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  • Bill 30: Is your pension committee ready for December 13, 2007?

    The countdown has begun! Have the governance rules for your pension committee been set out in an internal by-law? If not, there's no time to lose! The deadline is December 13, 2007.In the wake of the increasing number of lawsuits in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada involving the responsibilities of pension committees and their members, it is important to properly define the rules relating to the functionning and governance of pension committees. In this context, the importance of careful drafting, proper adoption and strict enforcement of the internal by-law should not be underestimated.Our specialists can help you determine the most appropriate content of the by-law based on your circumstances. They can also help you draft the internal by-law, ensure that it is updated regularly, enhance the knowledge of your pension committee members and answer any questions relating to the application of the by-law.Don't forget - this must be done before December 13, 2007!

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  • Recent CLP Decision: the obligation to give reasons for its decisions and the power to issue a stay of proceedings

    On January 22, 2007, the Commission des lésions professionnelles (the "Board") handed down a decision in Harvey et Brasserie Labatt ltée further to a motion for revocation filed by the employer against a decision rendered by a first commissioner.This decision deals with the reasons that may be invoked for revoking a decision when the first commissioner fails to give reasons for his decision, as well as the power of the Board to issue a stay of proceedings in connection with a motion for revocation so the employee may continue to receive benefits pending another hearing.The Harvey case reminds us that when the Board holds that it is null and void, it cannot issue an order to extend it until the case has been re-heard.

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  • Discrimination at work: Grievance Arbitrator or Human Rights Tribunal of Quebec... The debate rages on!

    On November 30, 2006, the Human Rights Tribunal of Quebec released a judgment in which it concluded that a grievance arbitrator did not have jurisdiction over litigation stemming from allegations of employment discrimination.In the case of Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse v. Procureur général du Québec (D.T.E. 2007T-61) the Human Rights Tribunal ("HRT") held that it (the Tribunal) "constitutes a more appropriate forum for the dispute" and that, accordingly, the jurisdiction of the grievance arbitrator could not take precedence.This interlocutory judgment of the HRT was the subject of an application for leave to appeal, which was dismissed by a Judge of the Quebec Court of Appeal.An employer who is the subject of an investigation by the Human Rights Commission should, therefore, remain vigilant if the Commission intends to assert jurisdiction over litigation concerning employment discrimination involving a unionized employee.Indeed, the conclusion of this recent judgment of the HRT is based on certain specific circumstances and may not exclude the general principles established by the courts of justice with respect to the specialized jurisdiction of grievance arbitrators.

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  • Disability and the duty to accommodate: loss of seniority and loss of employment clauses are still relevant!

    The Supreme Court of Canada recently handed down a highly anticipated judgment in McGill University Health Centre (Montreal General Hospital) (the “MUHC”) vs. Syndicat des employés de l’Hôpital Général de Montréal (2007 SCC 4). This case sets out the scope of an employer’s obligations with regards to the application of the provisions of a collective agreement regarding loss of seniority and employment in the event of an absence for disability of an employee, with respect to its duty of reasonable accommodation stemming from the protection against discrimination based on a handicap under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.The Supreme Court of Canada unanimously allowed the appeal by the MUHC and quashed the decision rendered by the Quebec Court of Appeal on March 18, 2005.It will be very interesting to see what scope and interpretation will be given to this Supreme Court judgment by administrative tribunals and the courts in the various situations to which it could apply, including last chance or return to work agreements and non-unionized environment.

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  • Compulsory deduction of drug insurance premiums: a new obligation for employers

    Do you offer your employees group insurance? If so, since January 1, 2007, under the Act respecting prescription drug insurance, you must deduct directly from the remuneration paid to each of your employees his or her portion of the premium applicable to the basic prescription drug insurance coverage stipulated in the group insurance contract. This is not an option but a legal obligation, both for the employer and for the employee.The purpose of these new amendments is to allow more efficient management of the basic prescription drug insurance plan by avoiding that persons eligible for a group insurance contract or an employee benefit plan guaranteeing coverage assumed by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec.

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  • Has the contractor with whom you are doing business paid his assessments to the CSST? You could be held responsible as the employer who retained his services ...

    Has the contractor with whom you are doing business paid his assessments to the CSST? If he hasn’t, you could be held responsible for payment of these assessments as the employer who retained his services!An employer who receives a notice of assessment or a request for information from the CSST regarding a contractor whose services he has retained should always attempt to obtain details from the CSST that will help him prepare his response and evaluate whether it is possible for him to contest the claim. A CSST notice of assessment can poke a large hole in an employer’s operating budget.

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