No discrimination, according to the direction
Three-Rivers — In order to convince the Court of appeal to quash the decision of the Court of human rights condemned to pay between 1 and 2.5 million dollars in salary compensation, Bécancour Smelter says its student workers are not victims of discrimination.
In may 2018, and the Court of human rights stated that the student workers were victims of discrimination because of their age and social status, because their pay was lower than that of regular workers for comparable tasks. Their employer paid them $ 31 per hour instead of $ 40. In its verdict, the judge Magali Lewis indicates that “students are not only exposed to the same risks as the occasional and the regular ones, but they perform the same job tasks of the employee they replace”. This is contrary to articles 10, 19 and 46 of the Charter of rights and freedoms of the person, ” said the judgment.
ABI challenged the verdict of the judge Lewis. After graduating, in September 2018, permission to appeal, ABI filed in December its brief arguing its case to lead the Court of appeal to overturn the decision of the Court of human rights.
According to ABI, the verdict does not comply with article 19 of the Charter of rights and freedoms of the person. The company claims that “students generally carry out a single task included in their position for the entire period of employment, while casual workers and regular conduct several, if not all, of the tasks of the position they occupy”. But according to ABI, the Court has adopted “a method of analysis that has no logical basis with the scope and purpose of article 19 of the Charter”. Instead of analyzing the work of each plaintiff, “the Court has combined all of the tasks carried out by groups of students in order to compare these tasks with those performed by a casual employee”. ABI mentions that the object and spirit of article 19 are based “on an individual protection of the rights of the plaintiffs and not on a comprehensive protection of these”. ABI claims that the overall analysis performed by the Court of human rights is irreconcilable with this.
Based on the case law, ABI also stated that the hiring of summer students, paid at lower wages, does not violate article 19 of the Charter “because they were hired only for the summer period”. The company argues that the Tribunal erred in law “in concluding from the outset that the status of a student was a social condition without performing a contextual analysis as required by the jurisprudence.” ABI argues that the evidence according to which the situation of students was due to their social condition has not been demonstrated.
In addition, the management of the company maintains that the union would have its share of responsibility for the conditions of the students. “The creation of the classification of “student” and the rate of salary applicable are provided in the collective agreements binding on ABI and the trade Union”, reminiscent of the employer. This is why ABI claims that the Court of human rights erred in refusing to recognize the joint and several liability of the local Union of Steelworkers.
The Commission of human rights and the rights of the youth had carried out the struggle before the Court of human rights. It will be a memory to drop by roughly mid-march in which she will have the opportunity to reply to the arguments of the ABI. The local Union of Steelworkers, part of the complainant in this folder, will also provide a response during the spring.
The hearing of this appeal should take place at the end of 2019 or early 2020.