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The Act respecting Labour Standards, the Act respecting Collective Agreement Decrees and others

For building service employees, the majority of the labour standards are replaced by sections of the Decree respecting Building Service Employees described in the previous pages.

However, some labour standards are still in force. Here is an incomplete summary. For more details, we suggest that you call the Parity Committee.

Attention: If you have filed a complaint with both the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) and the Parity Committee, you may be asked by the CNESST to take part in mediation. Do not sign an agreement to settle the case with the CNESST without consulting the Parity Committee and make sure that the agreement does not interfere with the legal proceedings that the Parity Committee might have brought against your employer, on your behalf.

5.1 Weekly rest

(Section 78, Act respecting Labour Standards)

The employer must grant his employee a minimum rest period of one day a week.

5.2 Maternity leave

(Section 81.4 and following, Act respecting Labour Standards)

The employer must grant the pregnant employee who makes the request for maternity leave, not more than 18 consecutive weeks without pay (Possibility of an allowance with the Québec Parental Insurance Plan: contact rqap.gouv.qc.ca to know more).

5.3 Parental leave

(Section 81.10 and following, Act respecting Labour Standards)

Upon request, the employer must grant the father and the mother of a newborn child and a person who adopts a child, a parental leave without pay of not more than 52 consecutive weeks (Possibility of an allowance with the Québec Parental Insurance Plan: contact rqap.gouv.qc.ca to know more).

5.4 Prohibited practices

(Sections 122-123, Act respecting Labour Standards and Sections 30, 30.1 and 31, Act respecting Collective Agreement Decrees)

It is prohibited for the employer to dismiss, suspend or transfer an employee on the grounds that the employee:

  • exercised one of his rights under the Act respecting Labour Standards.
  • has provided information to the CNESST on the application of the labour standards or to the Parity Committee regarding the Decree.
  • has made a complaint to the CNESST or to the Parity Committee.
  • is the object of a seizure by garnishment.
  • is pregnant
  • refuses to work beyond his or her regular hours for reasons related to the care, health or education of a minor child.

The employee may submit a complaint to the CNESST, the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT) or the Parity Committee, according to the situation. However, it is the Tribunal administratif du travail who may order the reinstatement and the payment of the loss salary.

Furthermore, in cases related to the Parity Committee, the employer is liable to a fine of $200 to $3000 and to the payment of exemplary damages of three months' salary.

5.5 Dismissal without good and sufficient cause.

(Section 124 and following, Act respecting Labour Standards)

The employer cannot dismiss an employee with two years of service without a good and sufficient cause. The dismissed employee may submit a complaint to the CNESST who tries to settle the matter. If no settlement is reached, the complaint is submitted to the Tribunal administratif du travail who may order the reinstatement and/or a salary compensation.

5.6 Psychological harassment

(Articles 81.18, 81.19 and 123.6 to 123.16, Act respecting Labour Standards)

The Act respecting Labour Standards provides that the employee is entitled to a workplace that is free from psychological harassment. It is the employer's responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent psychological harassment and to put a stop to such behaviour when it is brought to his knowledge.
In case of psychological harassment, the employee may contact the CNESST to file a complaint.

5.7 What do I do if my employer files for bankruptcy?

If you have worked for a building service employer who filed for bankruptcy while he still owed you some amounts, you may be entitled to a Federal program called Wage Earner Protection Program.

See the following site for more information: www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/sc/wepp/index.shtml

You may also contact the Parity Committee to know more.