Due to the strong support from the Coalition Avenir
Québec, Quebec's controversial Bill 14 is making its way
through the Quebec legislature despite strong opposition from
Quebec's Liberal opposition party. Bill 14 would amend the
Charter of the French Language (the Language Charter) and several
other laws currently in force in Quebec. The unique civil laws of
Quebec already pose a challenge to businesses desiring to expand
their presence in Canada but the language bill may further hurt
business in Quebec. This is because while the current language law
makes it mandatory for companies with 50 or more employees to
impose French as the language of communication in the workplace,
Bill 14 will extend Francization requirements to businesses with 26
to 49 employees. Non-compliance with the Language Charter is an
offence punishable by law, with fines ranging from $600 to $6,000
in the case of an individual and $1,500 to $20,000 in the case of a
legal person for first offences, with fines doubled for a
In addition, employers with 10 or more employees will be
required to post a special sign in the workplace that informs all
employees of their right to work in French. This will require
employers to take reasonable steps to prevent discrimination or
harassment of employees for asserting a right to work in French.
Employees will be able to file a complaint with the Commission des
norms du travail if they feel that their rights are being
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