Remote work has become so common that the notion of what constitutes an employer’s establishment had to be updated, the court concluded.
For the first time, a court has ruled that the “establishment of an employer” can be extended to workers who perform their work remotely, allowing the anti-scabies provisions of the Quebec labor code to apply to teleworkers.
The Quebec labor court determined that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teleworking has become so common that the notion of what constitutes the establishment of an employer had to be updated.
During a lockout in 2007 in the Journal de Québec, a court case regarding the similar use of replacement workers was heard, but the province’s Court of Appeal ruled that in order to be considered a replacement worker during a strike or lockout, the employee had to be physically present at the employer’s establishment.
The decision of the labor court extends that definition to teleworking.
A Unifor local representing workers at a Joliette cement plant accused employer Groupe CRH Canada of using replacement workers. He won a partial victory in the case after the court found that four workers, one of them a teleworker, violated provincial regulations on the use of replacement workers.
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