Court of Appeal of Quebec

Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (T.J.R.) c. Procureur général du Québec (Sûreté du Québec)

Cotnam, Beaupré, Kalichman

Appeal from a judgment of the Human Rights Tribunal. Dismissed.

The Tribunal found that the Sûreté du Québec’s decision to cancel the promise to hire the complainant as a police officer was not due to discrimination based on handicap but was instead based on misrepresentations he made during the hiring process, in particular his failure to declare in a medical questionnaire that he suffered from Tourette syndrome and that he had consulted a psychologist in the past. 

The Court sees no error in the Tribunal’s conclusion that the information required in the form concerning the nervous system is [translation] “directly and rationally connected to the skills and characteristics required” to perform the work of a police officer. It is true that it does not refer directly to the complainant’s syndrome or to the symptoms related to this condition. However, the question was sufficiently simple and clear to allow the complainant to understand the nature of the information he had to provide, especially since his condition had been a source of concern during previous employment searches. Moreover, a second question, which the Tribunal deemed discriminatory, asked the complainant to [translation] “indicate any health condition not specifically covered by the previous questions”. The discriminatory nature of this question did not relieve the complainant of his obligation to disclose a medical condition that he was aware could be a cause for concern for a future employer. In the circumstances, the Tribunal correctly found that the complainant had lacked transparency in the hiring process. Such willful omissions by a future police officer are likely to undermine the relationship of trust with the employer, and with the public, and are the basis of the employer’s decision in this case.

Text of the decision: http://citoyens.soquij.qc.ca

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