What is a reprisal?

Have you disclosed a wrongdoing or participated in an audit or investigation and you believe that you are experiencing reprisal as a result? You can file a complaint with the Québec Ombudsman. 

Reprisal means:

  • An act or omission of an economic, physical, social or disciplinary nature against a person because they made a disclosure protected by the Act or cooperated in an audit or investigation. 
  • Threats or bullying to keep someone from making a disclosure or cooperating in an audit or investigation. 

Examples of reprisal that may be examined by the Québec Ombudsman 

  • A private childcare centre deprives a parent of certain rights or treats the parent differently from other parents;
  • A child is suspended from attending a subsidized day care centre or is expelled;
  • A school prohibits a parent from being on the governing board;
  • A health institution reduces the services or care that a user would normally be entitled to or prevents a family member from visiting the user without just cause;
  • A student is blocked from a job as a research assistant by a university department head;
  • A person in charge of supplies drafts calls for tender so that a certain supplier is automatically disqualified even though, normally, the supplier would have been eligible.

Reprisal may also be related to your employment conditions, in which case, it is the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), and not the Québec Ombudsman, that will handle your complaint. You must file the complaint within 45 days of the action taken against you

Examples of reprisal against an employee that may be examined 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 you to do overtime or imposing excessive overtime;
  • Refusal to let you take time off for family reasons.