Quebec labor court finds scabies regulations apply to teleworkers

Remote work has become so common that the notion of what constitutes an employer’s establishment had to be updated, the court concluded.

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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.

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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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