What is a reprisal?

Reprisal can be:

  • Any harmful action against a whistleblower who made a disclosure under the Act, or against someone who cooperated in an audit or investigation. Harmful action or harmful omission can be economic, physical, social or disciplinary.
  • Threats or bullying to keep someone from making a disclosure or cooperating in an investigation. 

Examples of reprisal that may be examined by the Protecteur du citoyen 

After disclosing or having cooperated in an audit or investigation:

  • A childcare centre (CPE) deprives a parent of certain rights or treats the parent differently from other parents;
  • A child is suspended or expelled from a subsidized day care centre;
  • A school prohibits a parent from being on the governing board of their child’s school;
  • A university student is blocked from getting a job as a research assistant by a department head.

What we cannot touch

Reprisal may also be related to your employment or work conditions. In such a case, contact the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST). You must file the complaint within 45 days of the action taken against you. 

Examples of reprisal against an employee handled by the CNESST

  • Suspension, dismissal, demotion or transfer;
  • A reorganized work schedule;
  • Fewer work hours;
  • Obstacles to advancement;
  • Exclusion from team meetings;
  • Refusal to allow overtime or imposing excessive overtime;
  • Refusal to approve time off for family reasons.

Not sure whether you must contact the Protecteur du citoyen or the CNESST instead? Or are you wondering whether what happened was really reprisal? Contact us as soon as possible. We can help you.