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No more trace of an employee’s sexual offenses after two years, requests the FTQ

Photo: Paul Chiasson Archives The Canadian Press The FTQ considers that Bill 42 casts the net too wide by wishing to retain the disciplinary measures imposed on an employee “due to misconduct relating to physical or psychological violence that he or she has committed, including violence of a sexual nature” . We see here the union logo on its headquarters, in 2019, in Montreal.

The Quebec Federation of Workers (FTQ) believes that a disciplinary measure imposed for acts of sexual violence should no longer appear in an employee's file after two years.

The union made this proposal as part of the study of Bill 42, which aims “to prevent and combat psychological harassment and sexual violence in the workplace.”

The Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ), for its part, suggested that an employer can take into account the background of an employee for a period limited to five years.

The two unions therefore demand the maintenance of “amnesty clauses”, which ensure that sanctions imposed on an employee disappear after a given period. The Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, wants to modify the Labor Standards Act so that collective agreements can no longer contain such clauses.

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In other words, the minister wants an employer to be able to take into account a past sanction when imposing a disciplinary measure “due to misconduct relating to physical or psychological violence, including sexual violence.”

End of refusal

In an interview, Mr. Boulet said he had no intention of modifying his bill to respond to union demands. “It matters to me,” he said of the withdrawal of the amnesty clauses. The minister said he spoke to several experts who informed him of the high risks of repeat offenses from delinquent employees.

And an employer, “when he imposes a measure, he takes into account aggravating and mitigating circumstances,” he stressed. “So if there is clear evidence of rehabilitation, that is going to be a mitigating circumstance that could lead to a different approach on the part of the employer,” he said.

The study of Mr. Boulet’s bill is being carried out in parallel with that of Bill 47 by the Minister of Education, Bernard Drainville. The latter also proposes the withdrawal of amnesty clauses for school staff. He also faces reluctance from some unions, but said Wednesday that he does not intend to change the legislative text he is proposing.

In an exchange on Tuesday, liberal MP Madawa Nika-Cadet questioned the FTQ on its position on the subject of amnesty clauses. “How did you get to [a time limit of] two years ?” she asked.

Guillaume Lavoie, advisor to the FTQ, said he relied on a decision of the Court of Appeal. “We must not forget that the two-year period [is] a period which is minimum. “So, nothing prevents a union and an employer from agreeing, in the agreement, on a longer deadline to take into account certain particularities of a workplace,” he argued.

Too many cases included

The FTQ also believes that Bill 42 casts the net too wide by wishing to retain the disciplinary measures imposed on an employee “due to misconduct relating to physical or psychological violence that he or she has committed, including violence of a sexual nature “.

According to Annie Landry, director of the occupational health and safety service at the FTQ, this definition is “so broad that it includes everything”, for example “the person who is going to send his boss away for a reason X, or someone who hits a locker out of some frustration.”

“If [an employee] argued a little harder with his boss, does he have to drag that out for the rest of his life ? I'm not sure,” she said, arguing the importance of rehabilitation and forgiveness. “What we anticipate is that employers will use it in every way and that it will be taken to court. »

She added that currently, if a worker makes a mistake, their union can recommend that they take disciplinary action and correct their behavior.

“But if he is going to live with that for the rest of his life, maybe we will say: “that doesn’t make sense, we will have to contest to remove your measure because that this is not conduct that merits a life sentence,'” Ms. Landry said.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116