Tailing justified by an anonymous denunciation

Release date: November 3, 2020

The union opposed the admissibility as evidence of a video obtained through the tailing of an employee dismissed for having taken part in incompatible activities. The employee had been unable to return to his office job due to very severe restrictions (Class 4) related to the lumbosacral spine. Although the employee was receiving long-term salary insurance benefits and claimed that his main position was lying on his stomach, his employer received an anonymous denunciation from a citizen to the effect that the employee partook in activities such as sea-dooing and snowmobiling. According to the arbitrator, the employer had no other choice than to carry out surveillance by tailing the employee in order to validate the denunciation. However, the evidence was insufficient to determine whether the means used by the employer were reasonable. Given the employer’s serious reasons prior to tailing the employee, the arbitrator nevertheless found that refusing to allow this evidence would discredit the administration of justice. The union’s objection was dismissed.

Syndicat des spécialistes et professionnelles d’Hydro-Québec, section locale 4250 and Hydro-Québec, 2020EXPT-995, 2020 QCTA 18, Nathalie Massicotte

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