The publication canvasses all the major L&E legal issues in
this jurisdiction; it is meant to be a handy manual to help clients
navigate the distinct civil law legal system and French-speaking
environment of the province of Québec.
In Québec as in other Canadian provinces, laws dealing
with employment matters come within the jurisdiction of the local
legislature (called the "National Assembly" in
Québec), except where employment in a work or undertaking
falls within one of the heads of federal law-making power of the
Parliament of Canada. The latter include aeronautics, shipping and
navigation, longshoring (stevedoring) activities, national
railways, banking, inter-provincial and international bus and
transport companies, radio and television broadcasting, cable TV
and other forms of telecommunications, operations which are
declared to be for the general advantage of Canada or two or more
provinces (such as grain elevators and nuclear facilities) and any
other business which is an integral and essential part of a federal
work or undertaking.
The federal Parliament has exclusive jurisdiction over
employment insurance benefits and bankruptcy, whereas workers'
compensation is a provincial matter.
Distinct federal and provincial legislation and regulations
exist governing minimum labour standards, collective bargaining,
occupational health and safety, human rights, collective dismissal,
pay equity, protection of personal information, pension plans and
successor rights and obligations, all of which provisions apply
separately to federally and provincially-regulated employers.
Since this document provides only an overview of
Québec's provincial legislation and regulations,
employers operating in Québec, or contemplating carrying on
business in Québec, should consult with their professional
advisors to determine their specific rights and obligations under
applicable statutes and regulations. Employers falling under
federal jurisdiction should exercise particular care, as many of
the statutes and regulations reviewed in this paper do not apply to
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
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