Federal Court


Official Languages

GENERAL

Canada Revenue Agency did not violate employee’s right to work in language of choice

Bilingual francophone employee of Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) dealt with call from anglophone. He sent note in French to other bilingual francophone employee. Superiors required him to re-write note in English in accordance with CRA policy requiring use of taxpayer’s preferred language. Employee brought complaint before Official Languages Commissioner. Commissioner found CRA policy reasonable. Employee sought order stating that CRA violated his right to work in language of choice and requiring CRA to review policy to respect rights of its employees. Application dismissed. Since impossible to reconcile service language rights under Part IV and workplace language rights under Part V, Part IV of Official Languages Act took precedence. CRA took all reasonable measures to create and maintain work environment conducive to the effective use of both official languages by its call agents. All other parts of CRA computer systems accessible in both official languages for call agents and only “notepad” or logs to be written by call agents in language of taxpayer. Transfer of calls proposed by employee would entail delays for anglophone callers and thus unequal service.

Tailleur c. Canada (Procureur général) (Oct. 30, 2015, F.C., Denis Gascon J., File No. T-1444-13) 260 A.C.W.S. (3d) 613.

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