122. (1) Any civil action arising out of the decree or out of this act is prescribed by six months from the due date in each case. In the case of a false entry in the compulsory register, the registration system or the pay-list, or of a secret rebate, or of any other fraud, prescription shall run against the commission’s recourse only from the date when the commission becomes aware of the fraud.
For the purposes of the recourses of the board respecting the collection of indemnities, vacations and contributions or assessments of employers and employees under complementary social benefits plans, the maturity date mentioned above is the next 1 December for all the indemnities or contributions exigible from 1 January to the preceding 30 April, and the next 1 July for all those exigible from 1 May to the preceding 31 December.
However, a claim sent by the board to the employer, by registered or certified mail, shall interrupt prescription for the amount of the salary claimed and in such case, the action is again prescribed by six months, from the mailing of such letter; no subsequent letter addressed in respect of the same claim shall have the effect of interrupting prescription.
(2) Every employer who, without valid reason, proof of which shall lie upon him, dismisses, suspends or lays off an employee:
(a) by reason of information given to the representatives of the board respecting an agreement, a decree, a regulation or a violation of the provisions of this act;
(b) by reason of a complaint or accusation respecting it, or of testimony in a suit or motion relating to it;
(c) with intent to re-engage him in an inferior employment and so evade the provisions of the decree by paying a lower wage,
is guilty of an offence and liable, upon summary proceeding, in addition to costs, to a fine of fifty to one hundred dollars; in the case of a subsequent offence within two years, he is liable, in addition to costs, to a fine of one hundred to three hundred dollars.
(3) Every employee dismissed, suspended or laid off in violation of subsection 2, or with the object of obliging him to accept a classification calling for a wage less than that which he is receiving, has the right to claim from the person who employed him, as damages, the equivalent of one month’s wages. Proof that the employee does not meet the requisite conditions to claim such right shall lie upon the person who employed him.
(4) Whoever knowingly destroys, alters or falsifies any register, pay-list, registration system or document relating to the application of a decree, or knowingly forwards any false or inaccurate information or report, or gives a false designation to the position of an employee so as to pay a lower wage, commits an unlawful act and is liable, upon summary proceeding, to a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars and costs for the first offence, and to a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars and costs for any subsequent offence.
Failing immediate payment of the above mentioned fine and costs, such person shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one month nor more than three months for the first offence, and for three months for any subsequent offence.
(5) Whoever, by means of benefits having a pecuniary value, grants or accepts a rebate reducing the wage made obligatory, or participates in such a rebate, is guilty of an offence and liable, upon summary proceeding, in addition to costs, to a fine of fifty to one hundred dollars; in the case of a subsequent offence within two years, he is liable, in addition to costs, to a fine of one hundred to three hundred dollars.
(6) In any proceeding taken under this act, it shall not be necessary to produce the original of any book, register, order or document in the possession of the board, but a copy or extract duly certified by a person designated by the board, shall be evidence of the tenor of the original and the certificate affixed to such copy or extract shall establish, primafacie, the signature and authority of the employee of the board who gives it.
Several offences committed by the same person may be covered in the same complaint provided that it indicates precisely the time when and place where each offence was committed.
(7) Notwithstanding section 96 of the Companies Act, in the case of a bankruptcy or a winding-up order, the directors of a company are personally liable for payment of the salary due to the employees of such company, up to six months’ salary, if the directors are sued within six months of the judgment acknowledging that the salary is due.
(8) In the cases contemplated in subsection 7, the board shall reimburse to the employee the salary he has lost and by the sole fact of such reimbursement, it shall be subrogated in the rights of such employee.