Richard LeCouffe has been a lawyer since 1976. He is a graduate from the Université de Montréal, from which institution he received his law degree (LL.L.) in 1974.
During his career, although Me LeCouffe was mostly involved in labour and employment law affairs and negotiating labour collective agreements, he also had the opportunity to become very familiar with condominium law. Among other things, he has contributed in the writing of many articles, books, conferences, memoirs and legal procedures on the latter subject.
December 23, 2021- As an employer, a syndicate of co-ownership has a right of management with respect to its employees, that is to say the right to direct them. This right of management must, however, be exercised in compliance with employment rules.
It starts in the hiring process
Leading staff is much more than just assigning tasks to the employee. A good employer/employee relationship is created from the hiring process. Experience and job references are important points to consider, as well as the motivation, skills and background of the candidate, in order to select well. This step should not be overlooked.
Good guidance and clear guidelines
Once the candidate has been selected, he or she must be informed, upon arrival, of the policies in force and reconsider the expectations of the syndicate, considering the particular context in which the job is carried out. It is also necessary to ensure that the employee understands the scope of the impact. In the first few days, coaching should be provided, after which the employee may gradually be called upon to demonstrate greater autonomy. However, the employer will subsequently maintain control over the employee's performance and attitude.
Many employers find it difficult to point out the weaknesses of their employees. However, this is an essential task, because they must be aware of the reproaches addressed to them, or the fact that their performance is considered unsatisfactory, in order to be able to rectify the situation. Reporting of an employee's deficiencies may be done verbally, in a private meeting, or by written notice.
What is important above all is that the process takes place in a legitimate and respectful manner. Treatment must not be different, depending on the individual concerned, nor should it give way to contemptuous or humiliating remarks. The employer must remain calm, honest and objective.
The employer must also ensure that the employee understands the expectations, as the goal is to get the employee to adjust. This is not a masquerade with the aim of "building a case" against the employee.
A reasonable period to correct the situation
The employer must give the employee a reasonable period to make amends, depending in particular on the position held, the seniority and the seriousness of the reproaches. Once this period has been determined, depending on the case, the employee must be clearly notified. In addition, the employer must respect the deadline granted and not assume that the employee will be unable to correct the situation.
If the employer terminates the employment before the expiry of the time limit, the dismissal could have the dismissal annulled by the court (unless perhaps a recurrence or other incident occurs during the time limit).
The possibility of dismissal must be announced in writing
Finally, the employee must have been advised that in the absence of a significant improvement, the dismissal could result. This notice shall be in writing, to facilitate possible proof. Unless it is a serious fault, justifying a dismissal on the spot, an employer who omits this step would still be exposed to having the dismissal annulled by the court.
A decision to terminate employment must not be abusive, discriminatory or arbitrary. In short, in all its conduct, the union is required to follow the rules of good faith, in addition to maintaining respectful relationships with its employees.
Richard LeCouffe, Lawyer
1100, boul. René-Lévesque O.,
Montréal (Québec) H3B 4N4
Tél. : (514) 335-9595 / 855 633.6326
Chronic express the personal opinions of the author and in no way engage the responsibility of the site editor, CondoLegal.com Inc. The content and opinions expressed in a column are those of the author.