Thursday, June 1, 2023

Suspension “grossly excessive”: Hydro-Quebec will have to pay $20,000 to the employee

The tribunal upheld the worker’s complaint in this way and also declared that Hydro-Québec “unjustly and intentionally impedes freedom of association.”

Hydro-Quebec will pay $20,000 in damages to one of its employees, whom it forced to refrain from filing a complaint to contest the “grossly excessive” suspension, according to the Labor Administrative Tribunal.

The tribunal upheld the worker’s complaint in this way and also declared that Hydro-Québec “unjustly and intentionally impedes freedom of association”.

The worker in question was suspended for one year following a “more or less certain report” coming from a “belligerent neighbor,” the Court writes in its opinion.

The one-year suspension was also described as “grossly unnecessary” by the Tribunal in view of the facts of which the employee was accused, who had a clean disciplinary record.

I say: He accused him of using a Crown corporation vehicle to be called to dinner with a friend. She also accused him, without any proof other than a neighbor’s statement, that he had consumed alcohol and drugs on the job, and that he had driven a Crown Corporation vehicle while impaired.

the worker, while on call, was invited to dinner with his friend, who lived near his house. He had gone there with the Hydro-Quebec vehicle.

“This practice is common” and applies to everyone who is in the same position as this artist, who must remain standing, explains the Court. “The tables were tested as usual, allowed by the managers, even the immediate superior” of the worker.

The court reveals that the statement was from a close friend with whom he had gone to dinner. However, this friend “has a serious conflict with this neighbor that has continued for a long time, to the point that it required the intervention of the police as the relationship was so harmful”, writes the Court.

The tribunal speaks of a more or less certain declaration, arising from the “neighbor of the belligerent” and having no proof of consumption for the diminished capacities of the worker.

But the employee was initially suspended for one year. Dico then informed the union that he would be prepared to reduce this sanction to four months, on the condition that it does not affect the grievance.

In this context, writes the Court, the suspension of one year “seems grossly excessive, even acceptance, and in doubt about the faith of the speaker”.

In the hearing, to highlight the excessive severity of the sanction, the representative union submitted two disciplinary notices from the owner to two other workers: a suspension of two days, because he was involved in the supply of cars with a vehicle from Hydro. -Québec and a four-week suspension for smoking cannabis in the Hydro-Québec party parking lot.

“In this particular case, the one-year suspension imposed on him appears excessive and has every appearance of threat or excessive pressure,” the Court also concludes.

Therefore, it accepts complaints from workers in this way, whether requests for threats, discriminatory measures or reprimands or other means to compel the worker to refrain from exercising the right provided for in the work of the Code – that is, to file a grievance to defend. suspension

The Administrative Labor Court ordered Hydro−Québec to pay the employee $5,000 in moral damages. He wrote that the “damage to the reputation” of the worker, as well as “to his fundamental right of association and all the inconveniences he suffered, amply justify the award of moral damages of $5,000.”

In addition, Hydro−Québec was ordered to pay him $15,000 in punitive damages. “There is no doubt that it is an unlawful and intentional interference with the right of association, which the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms affirms.” Given the size of the employer and the number of employees, the Court considers that the amount of $15,000 in punitive damages can understand the importance of observing the obligations provided in the Code and having a deterrent effect.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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