# 2017-012 Careers, Official Languages Act

Official Languages Act

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2017-06-20

The grievor was abruptly transferred. In her grievance, she alleged that the transfer constituted a form of punishment for having filed another grievance relating to her Personnel Evaluation Report (PER). She also raised some procedural matters related to the handling of grievances in the official language of her choice.

The Initial Authority, determined that the grievor's transfer did not constitute a form of reprisal or punishment. He explained that the decision to transfer the grievor had been based on the perception that she was not happy in the unit. He did acknowledge, however, that the Chain of Command should not have done this, and that the grievor should have been properly mentored.

First of all, the Committee found that some of the communications with the grievor had not been in the language of her choice, contrary to Defence Administrative Order and Directive 2017-1, Military Grievance Process. However, the Committee noted that the decision letters had subsequently been translated. The Committee concluded that the grievor had been aggrieved but that this grievance had been remedied.

Regarding the grievor's transfer, the Committee established that the sudden transfer of the grievor had been initiated by her Chain of Command a few days after the filing of her PER grievance, and not in response to an operational requirement of the Canadian Armed Forces. Although it was impossible to determine whether this was reprisal or whether the filing of the grievance had triggered it, the Committee concluded that the grievor had been the victim of an injustice when she was transferred.

The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) recognize that the grievor's language rights were not respected in a timely manner. Regarding the transfer, the Committee recommended that the CDS order the career manager to transfer the grievor to a suitable position and ensure that there would be no impact on the grievor's career as a result of this situation.

FA Decision Summary

The Final Authority (FA), the Director General Canadian Forces Grievance Authority, agreed with the Committee's recommendations to grant redress, noting in his decision that the recommended remedies had already been implemented by the time of his decision. He also concluded that the grievor's Commanding Officer had not acted in accordance with his duties in failing to refer the grievances within the time prescribed by the regulations. He noted that the grievor had contributed to the conflict over the assignment of an assisting officer but concluded that she had been aggrieved, in that her Chain of Command should have assigned her another assisting officer. The FA concluded that the grievor's language rights had been violated when her Chain of Command failed to respond to her grievances in the official language of her choice, but also found that this violation had been remedied by having the decisions translated. He concluded that the grievor's transfer demonstrated [Translation] “very poor personnel management” but did not amount to reprisals. The FA pointed out that if the Chain of Command had concerns about the grievor's performance, they should have used the mechanisms provided for this purpose instead of transferring her as they did. He also noted that the grievor no longer wished to be transferred to this unit. The FA responded to the Committee's observation, stating that he would notify the Chain of Command of the breaches of procedural fairness.

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