Briefing notes
< Back

Supreme Court of Canada holds Québec’s exclusion of first-line managers from statutory collective bargaining regime constitutional

April 22, 2024 | Sherrard Kuzz LLP

In Société des casinos du Québec inc. v Association des cadres de la Société des casinos du Québec,[1] the Association des cadres de la Société des casinos du Québec (“Association”) sought to be certified under the Quebec Labour Code as a union representing first-level managers at a Montreal casino. Section 1(l)(1) of the Labour Code precludes managers from being represented in collective bargaining under Quebec’s statutory labour relations regime, by excluding them from the definition of “employee.” The Association sought a ruling that this statutory exclusion unjustifiably infringed its members’ freedom of association under section 2(d) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (“Charter”) and section 3 of the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.

The Supreme Court held the statutory exclusion of first-level managers did not infringe the Association’s members’ freedom of association under either charter.  The court accepted the purpose of the legislative exclusion was not to interfere with managers’ associational rights, but to:

  • distinguish between management and operations in organizational hierarchies
  • avoid placing managers in a conflict of interest between their role as employee in collective bargaining and their role as representative of the employer in their employment responsibilities, and
  • give employers confidence that managers would represent their interests, while protecting the distinctive common interests of employees.

The decision affirms that the exclusion of persons who exercise managerial responsibility from statutory labour relations regimes in Canada is consistent with the Charter.  The “managerial exclusion” has been a feature of Canadian labour relations for more than 70 years, designed to protect not only employer-interests, but also union-interests, and the interests of employees, both unionized and non-unionized.

To learn more or for assistance contact your Sherrard Kuzz LLP lawyer or

The information contained in briefing note is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice, nor does accessing this information create a lawyer-client relationship. This briefing note is current as of April 20, 2024 and applies only to Ontario, Canada, or such other laws of Canada as expressly indicated.  Information about the law is checked for legal accuracy as at the date the briefing note is prepared but may become outdated as laws or policies change.  For clarification or for legal or other professional assistance please contact Sherrard Kuzz LLP.

[1] 2024 SCC 13


Sign up to receive our Management Counsel Newsletter, Briefing Notes and Invitations to HReview Breakfast Seminars and Conferences.