The employer could place limits on overtime

Release date: November 28, 2017

A blue-collar worker claimed the overtime hours that she was not able to work due to the employer’s policy to the effect that overtime work could not be performed by an employee who had already worked six consecutive days. The collective agreement called for assigning overtime work to each employee in turn, and it is clear that the employee would have been the one to perform the hours claimed, had it not been for this policy. The employer came up with expert testimony to the effect that working more than 50 hours per week could adversely affect the health and safety of employees and third parties. The arbitrator pointed out that, according to case law, there are limits to the number of overtime hours an employee can perform, though such limits were not defined. This latter task falls upon the employer, who is in the best position to make that call. By setting a limit to overtime work, the employer fulfilled his obligations in terms of occupational health and safety, and did not violate the collective agreement. The grievance was rejected.

Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal, Local 301 v. City of Montreal (Ville-Marie district)2017EXPT-537, 2017 QCTA 16, Marcel Morin Esq.

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