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Adjudications Concerning Federal Employees Relating to the Canada Labour Code

The Canada Labour Code outlines procedures for the adjudication and resolution of various matters involving federal employees such as bank employees, telecommunications (cable company) employees, and federal transportation employees, among others. There are special rules and exceptions that apply to federal employees and, as such, the procedures for adjudication vary as well.

In Canada, for federal employees seeking remedies under the Canada Labour Code, the first step bringing the problem to light involves filing a complaint. Before this can be done though, it is crucial that the employee confirm that if there is a union in place whether it offers a grievance procedure. If there is no such procedure the employee may submit the complaint to the Labour Program within a prescribed time.

An inspector from the Labour Program would then be assigned and would be forwarding a letter of acknowledgement to the employee, followed by a preliminary letter of determination which would set out the preliminary decision reached by the inspector. This point in the process allows both the employee and the employer to adduce further evidence before the inspector composes the final letter of determination. The inspector may request for the employer’s reasons as to the employee’s termination and try to facilitate settlement.  If a settlement is not reached, normally the matter would be referred to an adjudicator to adjudicate on the dispute and make the appropriate order or award, including the right to reinstatement, if any.

In addition to the above process, non-union Federal employees have the right to commence a civil action as their common law provincial counterparts.