THE EMPLOYER’S OBLIGATIONS

Remuneration and other obligations of the employer (Art. 2087 of the Civil Code of Québec)

Remuneration includes salary and other monetary benefits. It is the counterpart of the work performed by the employee. The form of remuneration and the manner in which it is paid do not constitute factors in determining whether or not there is a contract of employment (Art. 2087 of the Civil Code of Québec).  That being said, the remuneration aspect must be present, otherwise the task performed will be considered to be volunteer work, which is not governed by labour laws.   An employer is bound to allow the performance of the work agreed upon (Art. 2087 of the Civil Code of Québec). It is important to note that the employer must provide work to the employee, and the employee must be able to work. Therefore, suspending (with or without pay) someone without a legitimate reason is a violation of the contract.

The employer is bound not only to allow the performance of the work agreed upon and to pay the remuneration fixed, but also to take any measures consistent with the nature of the work to protect the health, safety and dignity of the employee (Art.  2087 of the Civil Code of Québec).

A lack or absence of work can be considered a measure that impacts the employee’s dignity. This aspect is so important that it is the subject of a specific law, titled the Act respecting occupational health and safety. 

An employer is bound to make reparation for injury caused by the fault of his employees in the performance of their duties. It should be noted that this is an absolute liability, for which there is no possible means of exemption, insofar as the situation fits into the regime provided for in Art. 1463 of the Civil Code of Québec. This implies that an employer cannot rely on the fact that his employee was negligent, or that he did not commit any fault in order to exempt himself from his liability.

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The above noted text should not be construed as providing legal advice or a statement of your claim. The process highlighted above are merely parameters and barometers and do not constitute any warranties and guaranties with regards to your file at hand. We strongly recommend that you seek legal advice with a licensed attorney from the Barreau du Quebec or a notary at the Chambre des Notaires. Each case must be seen and analysed on its merits as the legal process may be complex and cumbersome.