Cop claims reprisals after safety complaint

RCMP officer claimed assessment of his job performance and suspension were reprisals for earlier safety complaint
|Canadian Employment Law Today

This instalment of You Make the Call looks at a police officer who claimed he faced reprisals when he filed a complaint after he felt his safety was compromised on the job.

Staff Sgt. Maj. Normand Vallée was a risk manager in the Informatics Services department of the RCMP in Montreal. In November 2001, Vallée filed a complaint with the force’s occupational health and safety committee, claiming he and his team were given an inadequate radio communications system while he co-ordinated a motorcade during the April 2001 Summit of the Americas in Quebec City. Vallée claimed the limitations of the equipment endangered his safety and that of the people in the motorcade. The committee found the complaint was justified and Vallée’s supervisor took steps to ensure it didn’t happen again.

Soon after, the RCMP launched a workplace assessment investigation in Vallée’s department. This took place in 2002, shortly after the decision on Vallée’s complaint and was said to be in response to conflicts in Vallée’s Informatics unit. The investigation unearthed concerns of other employees about Vallée’s behaviour and the safety of other people working with him, resulting in a transfer in October 2002 followed by a disciplinary measure on Aug. 23, 2003. The investigators denied Vallée’s complaint had come up at any time during the investigation process.