46. An employer is prohibited from making the obtaining of an employment or office dependent upon the knowledge or a specific level of knowledge of a language other than the official language, unless the nature of the duties requires such knowledge.
A person, whether or not in an employment relationship with the employer, who believes he has been aggrieved by a contravention of the first paragraph and who is not subject to a collective agreement may exercise a remedy before a labour commissioner, as though it were a remedy relating to the exercise of a right under the Labour Code (chapter C-27).
A person who is subject to a collective agreement and who believes he has been so aggrieved may submit the grievance for arbitration if the association representing the person fails to do so.
The remedy is brought before a labour commissioner by filing a complaint as provided by section 16 of the Labour Code, within 30 days after the date on which the employer informed the complainant of the linguistic requirements of the employment or position or, failing that, from the last act of the employer which was invoked to support the allegation of contravention of the first paragraph of this section. Sections 19 to 20 of the Labour Code apply, with the necessary modifications.
It is incumbent upon the employer to prove to the labour commissioner or the arbitrator that the performance of the work requires knowledge or a specific level of knowledge of a language other than French.
If the labour commissioner or the arbitrator finds the complaint to be justified, the labour commissioner or the arbitrator may issue any order he considers fair and reasonable in the circumstances, in particular an order to cease the act complained of, to perform an act, such as the renewal of the staffing process for the employment or position, or to pay compensation or punitive damages to the complainant.
1977, c. 5, s. 46; 2000, c. 57, s. 8.