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Use of French in Federally Regulated Private Businesses Act (S.C. 2023, c. 15, s. 54)

Act current to 2024-04-01

Rights and Duties (continued)

Language of Work (continued)

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Marginal note:Adverse treatment

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     (1) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec must not treat adversely an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in one of those workplaces for any of the following reasons:

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      (a) the employee speaks only French;

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      (b) the employee does not have a sufficient knowledge of a language other than French;

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      (c) the employee claims the possibility of expressing themselves in French;

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      (d) the employee has exercised a right under this Act or made a complaint to the Commissioner;

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      (e) the business is seeking to deter the employee from exercising such a right or making such a complaint;

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      (f) the employee has taken part in meetings of, or carried out tasks for, a committee established under paragraph 10(1)(c) or a subcommittee created by such a committee;

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      (g) the employee has, in good faith, communicated information to the Commissioner in relation to a complaint made under section 18 or participated in an investigation conducted as a result of such a communication; or

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      (h) the business is seeking to induce the employee to endorse a document prepared by a committee established under paragraph 10(1)(c) or to dissuade the employee from doing so.

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    Marginal note:Acquired rights in Quebec

    (2) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec must not treat adversely an employee who occupies or is assigned to a position in one of those workplaces on or before the day on which this subsection comes into force for the sole reason that the employee does not have a sufficient knowledge of French.

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    Marginal note:Language other than French

    (3) Requiring an employee to have a knowledge of a language other than French does not constitute adverse treatment for the purposes of subsection (1) if the federally regulated private business is able to demonstrate that a knowledge of that language is objectively required by reason of the nature of the work to be performed by the employee and the business sets out the reasons that justify the requirement in any advertisement to fill a position that requires such knowledge.

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    Marginal note:Language other than French — minimum conditions

    (4) For the purposes of subsection (3), in order to demonstrate that a knowledge of a language other than French is objectively required by reason of the nature of the work to be performed by the employee, a federally regulated private business must, before requiring such knowledge, at a minimum,

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      (a) assess the actual language needs associated with the work to be performed;

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      (b) verify that the language knowledge already required of other employees is not sufficient for the performance of that work; and

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      (c) restrict the number of positions involving work whose performance requires knowledge of a language other than French.

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    Marginal note:Interpretation

    (5) Subsection (4) is not to be interpreted as imposing an unreasonable reorganization of a federally regulated private business’s affairs.

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    Marginal note:Prevention of adverse treatment

    (6) A federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec must take all reasonable measures to prevent, in the work environment, the adverse treatment of an employee referred to in subsection (1) for any of the reasons referred to in that subsection or of an employee referred to in subsection (2) for the reason referred to in that subsection.

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    Marginal note:Cessation of adverse treatment

    (7) If a federally regulated private business that has workplaces in Quebec is made aware of the adverse treatment, in the work environment, of an employee referred to in subsection (1) for any of the reasons referred to in that subsection or of an employee referred to in subsection (2) for the reason referred to in that subsection, it must take all reasonable measures to make the adverse treatment cease.

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    Marginal note:Definition of adverse treatment

    (8) For the purposes of this section, adverse treatment includes dismissing, laying off, demoting, transferring or suspending an employee, harassing them or taking reprisals against them or disciplining or imposing any other penalty on them.

Minister’s Role

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Marginal note:Role

 The Minister is responsible for the administration of this Act.

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Marginal note:Promotion of rights

 The Minister is responsible for promoting the rights set out in subsections 7(1) and 9(1) and for providing assistance, education and information to federally regulated private businesses in relation to those rights.

Commissioner’s Duty

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Marginal note:Duty

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     (1) It is the Commissioner’s duty to take all actions and measures within the Commissioner’s authority with a view to ensuring recognition of the rights and respect for the duties under this Act concerning the use of French in communications with and services to consumers and as a language of work in relation to federally regulated private businesses, and the fostering by those businesses of the use of French in their workplaces as required by this Act.

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    Marginal note:Investigations

    (2) It is Commissioner’s duty, for the purpose set out in subsection (1), to

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      (a) conduct and carry out investigations either as a result of a complaint made to the Commissioner or, in the case of a right or duty under section 7, on the Commissioner’s own initiative; and

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      (b) report and make recommendations with respect to those investigations in accordance with this Act.

Remedies — Communications with and Services to Consumers

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Marginal note:Complaint to Commissioner

 Any individual or group of individuals may make a complaint to the Commissioner, regardless of the official language spoken by the individual or individuals in the group, if they believe that a federally regulated private business has failed to comply with section 7.

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Marginal note:Part IX of Official Languages Act

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     (1) Subject to this section and subsections 41(1) and (3), Part IX of the Official Languages Act applies in respect of rights and duties under section 7.

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    Marginal note:References

    (2) For the purpose of applying Part IX of the Official Languages Act,

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      (a) a reference in that Part to a federal institution is to be read as a reference to a federally regulated private business;

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      (b) a reference in that Part to the deputy head or other administrative head is to be read as a reference to the chief executive officer or the person designated by the chief executive officer;

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      (c) a reference in subsection 64.5(1) of that Part to Part IV or V is to be read as a reference to section 7; and

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      (d) a reference in that Part to “this Act” is to be read as a reference to this Act.

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    Marginal note:Report

    (3) For the purposes of subsections 62(2) and 63(1) of the Official Languages Act, the Commissioner must make a report only to the chief executive officer of the federally regulated private business or the person designated by the chief executive officer.

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    Marginal note:Non-application

    (4) Section 56 and subsections 65(3) and (4) of the Official Languages Act do not apply in respect of complaints or investigations relating to a right or duty under section 7.

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Marginal note:Part X of Official Languages Act

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     (1) Part X of the Official Languages Act applies in respect of complaints made in respect of a right or duty under section 7.

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    Marginal note:References

    (2) For the purpose of applying Part X of the Official Languages Act,

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      (a) a reference in that Part to a federal institution is to be read as a reference to a federally regulated private business;

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      (b) a reference in that Part to the deputy head or other administrative head is to be read as a reference to the chief executive officer or the person designated by the chief executive officer; and

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      (c) a reference in that Part to “this Act” is to be read as a reference to this Act.

Remedies — Language of Work

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Marginal note:Complaint to Commissioner

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     (1) An employee referred to in any of sections 9 to 11 may make a complaint to the Commissioner if the employee believes that the federally regulated private business that employs them has failed to comply with any of those sections.

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    Marginal note:Complaint to Commissioner — former employees

    (1.1) A person who was an employee referred to in section 9 may make a complaint to the Commissioner if the person believes that the federally regulated private business that employed them has failed to comply with subsection 9(2) in relation to the right continued under subsection 9(1.1).

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    Marginal note:Complaint to Commissioner — potential employees

    (1.2) A person who has a demonstrable interest in a position referred to in subsection 9(2.1) may make a complaint to the Commissioner if the person believes that a federally regulated private business has failed to comply with that subsection in respect of the position.

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    Marginal note:Limitation or prescription period

    (2) The complaint must be made no later than the 90th day after the earlier of

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      (a) the day on which the complainant became aware of the act or omission giving rise to the alleged failure to comply, and

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      (b) the day on which the complainant ought, in the Commissioner’s opinion, to have become aware of that act or omission.

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    Marginal note:Extension

    (3) The Commissioner may extend the 90-day period

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      (a) if the Commissioner is satisfied that a complaint was made in that period to a government official who had no authority to deal with the complaint but that the complainant believed the official had that authority; or

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      (b) in any other circumstance that is prescribed by regulation of the Governor in Council.

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Marginal note:Part IX of Official Languages Act

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     (1) Subject to this section, sections 18 and 21 and subsections 26(2) and 41(2) and (4), Part IX of the Official Languages Act applies with respect to a complaint made under subsection 18(1), (1.1) or (1.2) as if the federally regulated private business that is the subject of the complaint were a federal institution.

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    Marginal note:No investigation

    (2) The Commissioner is not permitted to conduct or carry out any investigation on the Commissioner’s own initiative in respect of a right or duty under any of sections 9 to 11.

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    Marginal note:Reference to deputy head

    (3) A reference in Part IX of the Official Languages Act to a deputy head or other administrative head of a federal institution is to be read as a reference to the chief executive officer of the federally regulated private business or the person designated by the chief executive officer.

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    Marginal note:Report

    (4) For the purposes of subsections 62(2) and 63(1) of the Official Languages Act, the Commissioner is to make a report only to the chief executive officer of the federally regulated private business or the person designated by the chief executive officer.

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    Marginal note:Reference to certain Parts

    (5) A reference in subsection 64.5(1) of the Official Languages Act to Part IV or V is to be read as a reference to sections 9 to 11.

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    Marginal note:Non-application

    (6) Section 56 and subsections 65(3) and (4) of the Official Languages Act do not apply in respect of the complaint.

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    Marginal note:Special report

    (7) The Commissioner may make a special report under subsection 67(1) of the Official Languages Act with respect to a complaint referred to the Board under section 21 only after the Board has decided whether the complaint is well-founded.

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    Marginal note:Reference to “this Act”

    (8) A reference in Part IX of the Official Languages Act to “this Act” is to be read as a reference to this Act.

 

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