Psychological harassment: caution when disclosing references concerning an ex-employee

Release date: October 1st, 2012

A civil servant alleges that he was subjected to psychological harassment by his immediate superior when he was absent from work, as he was in early retirement. During this period, the employee was offered a job with an engineering consultant firm. However he was denied this job following a meeting between a representative of this firm and his former immediate superior, as a result of the statements made by the latter about him. According to the arbitrator, a reasonable person cannot find it acceptable that a director, in the performance of his duties, should disclose to a third party the professional, or even personal, misgivings associated with an employee whose services this third party intends to hire. He concluded that the employee had been subjected to vexatious behaviour causing damages to his dignity and creating an injurious working environment for him. The complaint was upheld. Bérubé v. Québec (Ministère des Transports), 2010EXPT-2428, DTE 2010T-732 (C.F.P.) Me Robert Hardy.

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