Lay-off : No obligation to attempt to find another position for an employee

Release date: July 3, 2019

The employer is asking the Superior Court to quash a decision rendered by the Administrative Labour Tribunal (ALT) that allowed a complaint of dismissal without good and sufficient cause. In particular, the ALT found that the employer had the duty to make efforts to keep an employee at work before proceeding with a dismissal, adding that this duty varied depending on various factors, such as the size of the business and the employee’s expertise. The Superior Court quashed this decision, finding that, once an employer had demonstrated that the decision to cut a position for reorganization reasons was a lay-off and that the seniority criterion, such at it was raised in this case, was objective and reasonable, the Tribunal had to stop its analysis. According to the judge, the ALT decision that led to the creation of the employer’s obligation to try to find another position for the employee, in such that the failure to do so was a constructive dismissal, is unreasonable. Section 124 of the Act respecting Labour Standards (ALS) does not create such an obligation for the employer.

Groupe technologies Desjardins inc. c. Tribunal administratif du travail 2018 EXPT-2098, 2018 QCCS 4557, Justice Pierre Ouellet
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