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Guide Interpretation

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Part I - Act respecting labour standards

CHAPTER V - Recourses

Civil recourses

Sections
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
107.1
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
119.1
120
121

Section 115

Prescription

A civil action brought under this Act or a regulation is prescribed by one year from each due date.

Logging operations

This prescription runs only from 1 May following the date of execution of the work in respect of employees engaged in logging operations.

1979, c. 45, s. 115.

Interpretation

A civil action (as opposed to criminal proceedings) brought under the Act respecting labour standards is prescribed by one year from each due date. The term "due date" means the date on which the performance of an obligation or a payment is claimable. Hence, the Commission has one year to claim the amounts owing, from the date on which the performance of an obligation or a payment is claimable. After that time period, the right to institute action no longer exists, subject to section 116 ALS.

In the computation of delays, the day that marks the starting point of the prescription is not counted, whereas the last day must be completely finished. In summary, the due date is the time when the right comes into being, and will vary according to one of the following four situations:

  1. The wages: the one-year period begins on the date that the employee should have received his wages. For example, an employee paid every two weeks will have one year from each two-week period to claim the unpaid wages corresponding to each period.
  2. The annual leave indemnity: the starting point of the prescriptive period begins at the expiry of one year after the end of the reference year, namely at the end of the period granted to the employee to take his annual leave (see the diagram and the interpretation in section 66 ALS).
  3. The indemnity in lieu of the notice of termination of employment: the one-year period begins from the date of dismissal or permanent layoff. For a layoff of indeterminate length, the prescriptive period begins to run at the expiry of the six-month period following the start of the layoff. In case of a lockout, the time period is calculated on the basis of the date of receipt of the notice of layoff and not according to the lockout itself.
  4. Statutory holidays and non-working days with pay: the period runs from the day when the statutory holiday normally should have been paid rather than from the date of the holiday.

In the case of a false entry in the payroll journal or in the case of a false remittance or fraud, the starting point of prescription against the Commission only begins from the time the Commission becomes aware of this fraud (see the interpretation of section 118 ALS).

For employees working in forestry operations, the starting point of the prescription begins on the first of May following the date of the performance of the work (see the definition of "forestry operation" in section 1 RLS).

See the interpretation in section 113 ALS relating to prescription of the recourse against directors.

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