In a recent arbitration decision, Centre de la petite
enfance Allô mon ami c. Le Syndicat de la Nouvelle
Union (CSQ), 2015 QCTA 749, the question was once again
The employer is a kindergarten operator with three
establishments (the "Employer").
On April 5, 2013, an educator (the "Employee") wrote
on her Facebook page: "Hell of a bad day". A
parent of a child in the Employee's group, who is also the
Employee's Facebook friend, saw the post, got worried
that the post was connected to an event at the kindergarten and
contacted the Employer. Even though the Employee explained to her
Employer that said post was unrelated to her professional life, the
Employer gave her a verbal warning not to write on Facebook any
comments whatsoever, positive or negative, that were related to her
On September 4, 2013, the Employee, apparently willing to share
that she was returning to one of the Employer's establishments
where she had had better times, wrote on her Facebook page:
"Dear friends of Vanier, I will be back amongst you on
September 16 with the monkeys, I cannot wait to see you
back!!!". This comment in itself was not really
problematic for the Employer nor for the arbitrator Denis
Unfortunately, a Facebook friend of the Employee commented on
the post: "You quickly got bored with Lebourgneuf or there
is one person who decided to spare no efforts to make your life
The Employee "liked" this Facebook friend comment and
replied "I am returning by choice, no one pissed me off
Given the "like" and the reply, the Employer gave the
Employee a warning and a one day suspension.
The Employee filed a grievance.
Addressing summarily the first verbal warning the Employer gave
in April 2013, the arbitrator found that it should only have
encompassed negative comments.
Concerning the grievance, the arbitrator found that even though
the Employee had no control over the comments of her Facebook
friend, the "like" and the comment "no one
pissed me off directly" were doubtful and had been done
in contravention of the April warning. This being said, the
arbitrator cancelled the one day suspension and modified the
sanction by a written reprimand to the employee's file.
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