Marilyne Dionne v. Commission scolaire des Patriotes, et al.

(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)


Employment law - Standard of review, Labour Law.


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Administrative law - Standard of review - Labour law - Protective reassignment - Substitute teachers - Contract - Pregnancy - Whether Act respecting occupational health and safety, R.S.Q., c. S-2.1 (AOHS), applicable to appellant despite her unstable employment status in light of objectives of that legislation, its interaction with civil law rules and characteristics of employment relationship in issue - Whether AOHS applicable to appellant having regard to protection against pregnancy-based discrimination afforded by Charter of human rights and freedoms - Applicable standard of review.

The appellant is a [TRANSLATION] “casual substitute teacher” within the meaning of the applicable collective agreement and is on a list maintained by the respondent Commission scolaire (School Board) and used to call up substitute teachers to work when needed. On September 24, 2006, the appellant learned that she was pregnant. She reported her pregnancy to the School Board and declared herself unavailable for work while she checked whether she was immunized against certain contagious diseases. She then sought the appropriate advice from her doctor. On October 23, her doctor issued her a [TRANSLATION] “certificate regarding the protective reassignment of a pregnant worker” because of, inter alia, the risk of contracting Parvovirus B-19. A copy of this certificate was sent to the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST), which informed the appellant on November 3, 2006, that she was eligible for the “For a Safe Maternity Experience” program. On November 27, 2006, the CSST determined that her entitlement to indemnities had begun on November 13, 2006, the first day a substitute teaching position was offered to her, and would end on April 28, 2007, the estimated delivery date. The School Board disagreed with the CSST’s decisions and challenged them, first internally (administrative review), and then before the CLP (contestation). In its view, on October 23, 2006, the day the reassignment certificate was issued, the appellant was not one of its employees, nor did she subsequently become one. It argued that the employment contract of a casual substitute teacher lasts only as long as the substitute teaching assignment.