André Sasseville

Partner
Key practice areas
Labour and Employment Law, Labour Relations, Strategic HR Advice, Employment Law, Education Law
Québec Bar 1979

André Sasseville has had a passion for labour and employment law his entire career. Various businesses seek his help in interpreting collective agreements and making various HR management changes, including collective layoffs, mergers and restructurings. He gives strategic advice and advocates for a wide variety of employers, particularly in collective bargaining and labour dispute cases, where he educates clients on how bargaining committees are structured and helps them set up contingency plans. He negotiates and drafts executive employment contracts, and develops incentive programs, bonus plans, stock option programs, and supplementary pension plans. This extensive experience also makes him a skilled crisis manager who can intervene effectively in urgent matters with potentially major consequences for a firm.

In cooperation with his network of Québec, Canadian and North American law practitioners, he often advises foreign businesses on transfers, acquisitions and sales of businesses with large numbers of employees. He is particularly skilled in negotiating facilitating conditions for executives (golden parachutes, retention bonuses, etc.) and in designing prevention strategies.

When dealing with disputes, André strives for effective and advantageous solutions. He is a certified mediator, and has developed and implemented effective conflict prevention and resolution methods, particularly with respect to interpersonal conflicts and psychological harassment in the workplace. He is a member of a select group of mediators who use the partnering method to resolve conflicts affecting groups of employees.

André has an impressive track record when it comes to representing employers before provincial and federal labour relations boards in various matters, including union organizing, union raids, and suits for alleged unlawful termination. He regularly pleads cases at trial and on appeal and has handled hundreds of disputes involving employment practices, pension plans, fiduciary duties, and directors’ liability.

Boasting many years of experience as a lecturer and training instructor, he offers clients made-to-measure business training programs on a range of HR management, conflict prevention, and labour relations topics.

  • iGuzzini illuminazione S.p.A.
    On behalf of iGuzzini illuminazione S.p.A., an international leader in architectural lighting and member of the Fagerhult Group, André took part in the labour and employment law aspects of the company's acquisition of shares in Sistemalux, a distributor of European lighting systems.
  • McGill University
    Successfully represented McGill University in the Amoriggi v. McGill University et al., 2017 QCCS 5621, conf. by 2019 QCCA 960, which was concerned with the right of an employer to dismiss an employee whose performance has fallen below the eligibility standards expected for their position.
  • City of Laval
    Between May 2013 and January 2016, André advised the City of Laval and its interim commissioners on the employment relationship with certain of its officers whose conduct has come under scrutiny during the hearings of the Charbonneau Commission. He has since been advising the City in connection with various sensitive files concerning City employees and on the adoption of policies to detect and prevent corruption.
  • Couche-Tard
    In 2012 and 2013 André represented convenience-store owner Couche-Tard regarding complaints filed by CSN-affiliated unions in connection with a union organizing drive and allegedly related store-closings.
  • L’Allier Committee
    In 2009 and 2010 André served on the L’Allier Committee, which was created by the Québec Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women to determine whether a consensus could be achieved for the purpose of proposing amendments to legislation affecting the status of artists.
  • Hapag-Lloyd’s Acquisition of CP Ships
    In 2007, André advised Hapag-Lloyd Canada, one fo the world’s largest shipowners, regarding its acquisition of CP Ships and the integration of its human resources.
  • City of Montréal
    In 2007, André was retained as counsel for one of the boroughs of the City of Montréal in the mediation/arbitration of the first agreement on local conditions in respect of the matters referred to in Section 49 of the City’s charter.
  • Canadian Space Agency
    In 2004, André was retained on an urgent basis by the Canadian Space Agency for the resolution of a dispute among the members of the Canadarm team.
  • Société de Transport de la Communauté Urbaine de Québec
    In 2003, André was hired by the STCUQ (now the RTC) regarding a management grievance for the recovery of $1.9 million in losses caused by an illegal union strike. In 2001, he was retained to advise the STCUQ in connection with its bid to improve its labour relations. As part of this mandate, he also acted as spokesperson for the STCUQ in connection with the renewal of its collective agreement with its employees, and then as counsel in a dispute arbitration prescribed by a special statute.
  • Department of National Defence
    In 2001, André’s services were retained by Denis Hardy of the Department of National Defence’s 202nd Workshop Depot unit for the negotiation and implementation of a unique human resources reorganization plan with a view to meeting new Government of Canada standards requiring this unit to meet the same performance criteria as the private sector.
  • Para-public corporation
    In 2000, André acted as presenter and trainer in connection with the first “win-win” or “interest-based” negotiation ever undertaken by one of the province’s major para-public corporations.
  • Bell Canada
    In the late 1990s, he served as counsel to the acquirer in connection with Bell Canada’s collective agreement negotiations with its telephone operators, whose services Bell sought to permanently outsource.
  • Appearances before the Canada Industrial Relations Board
    From 1996 to 1999 André was involved in a series of cases before the Canada Industrial Relations Board regarding the change of an employer’s representative in regional collective agreement negotiations with stevedores in the ports of Québec City and Bécancour.
  • Aéroports de Montréal
    During 1994, as counsel to Aéroports de Montréal, he consolidated the federal public service’s 22 bargaining units into the four current bargaining units. He was then mandated by Aéroports de Montréal to establish the objectives and negotiation strategy for the initial collective agreements with those four bargaining units. During the lead-up to the signing of those collective agreements, he served as employer spokesperson at critical times during negotiations with the bargaining units.
  • Chambers Canada –  Employment & Labour Law, 2018-2024
  • Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory:
    • Labour Relations, 2020
    • Employment Law, 2017-2018, 2020-2021 and 2024
  • Benchmark Litigation Canada:
    • Litigation Star, 2019-2024
    • Local Litigation Star, 2017-2018
  • Best Lawyers in Canada –  Labour and Employment Law, 2016-2024

Memberships

  • Québec Mediation and Arbitration Institute, Member, 2003-2017
  • Order of Certified Human Resources Professionals of Québec:
    • Board Member, 2017-2019
    • Syndic, 2006-2011
    • Member, 1984-2024

Professional activities

  • Member of the Board of Directors of the firm, 2007-2012
  • Caisse populaire Desjardins Domaine Saint-Sulpice, Director, Secretary and Chair, 1993-2003

Teaching engagements

  • Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) Order of Québec, Trainer in the continuing education program, since 2014
  • The Montréal Bar School, Lecturer in Labour Law, 2009-2017
  • Université de Montréal, Lecturer in collective labour relations law and employment law, 1981-2001
  • Co-speaker: La flexibilité des lieux et des horaires de travail à l’ère postpandémique [Workplace flexibility and flexible working hours in the post-pandemic era], Langlois Knowledge, webinar, January 26, 2023.
  • Speaker: Télétravail et ressources humaines : tout ce que vous devez savoir [Teleworking and human resources: everything you need to know], organized by Onit, webinar, March 24, 2020.
  • Co-speaker: Les devoirs de l’employeur en matière de harcèlement : quels sont les derniers développements? [What are the latest developments with regards to the employer’s obligations when it comes to harassment?], as part of the workshop series Droit du travail et de l’emploi 2019-2020, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, December 17, 2019.
  • Co-speaker: Les meilleures pratiques d’une gestion efficace des employés difficiles [Best practices for effective management of difficult employees], as part of the Colloque 2019 – Droit du travail et de l’emploi : composer avec des personnalités atypiques, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, February 26, 2019.
  • Guest speaker: La pénurie de main-d’oeuvre et ses répercussions sur la gestion des ressources humaines et le droit du travail [The scarcity of labour and its impacts on human resources management and employment law], as part of the annual convention of Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines du Québec, 2018.
  • Co-speaker: Le droit à la déconnexion [The right to disconnect], as part of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines annual convention, organized by the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines du Québec, October 24, 2018.
  • Co-speaker: Harcèlement psychologique : vers l’infini et plus loin encore [Psychological harassment: to infinity and beyond], as part of the workshop series 360o de l’emploi, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, October 18, 2017.
  • Co-speaker: L’entreprise et la pénurie de personnel [The company and staff shortages], Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, October 12, 2018.
  • Co-speaker: Vivre une syndicalisation : savoir la prévenir, conjuguer avec un syndicat et même en tirer parti [Dealing with a campaign for union certification: How to prevent it, or how to come to terms with and even benefit from it], as part of the workshop series Droit du travail et de l’emploi 2018, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, October 11, 2018.
  • Guest speaker: L’employé sonneur d’alarme dans la lutte contre la corruption: outil efficace ou obstacle à la gestion des ressources humaines [The whistleblower employee in the fight against corruption: an effective tool or an obstacle to human], Recent developments in labour law, Barreau du Québec, 2017.
  • Animator and co-speaker: Le devoir de loyauté et les clauses restrictives : une mise à jour [Employment law, former employee’s obligation of loyalty, and protection of business secrets], Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, May 25, 2017.
  • Co-speaker: Astuces, réflexes et bonnes pratiques dans la gestion des dossiers de harcèlement psychologique [Tips, reflexes and best practices for managing psychological harassment cases], as part of the Colloque de droit du travail et de l’emploi : 360o de l'emploi, Langlois Knowledge, Québec City, February 13, 2017, and Montréal, February 21, 2017.
  • Animator and co-speaker: Récents développements et jugements récents sur les clauses de non-concurrence et le devoir de loyauté de l’ex-employé [Recent developments and judgments on non-competition clauses and the ex-employee's duty of loyalty], as part of the lunch and learn Droit de l’emploi, obligation de loyauté de l’ex-employé et protection des secrets d’entreprise, organized by Langlois Lawyers in collaboration with Perreault Conseil, Montréal, September 29, 2016.
  • Speaker: Les rapports collectifs de travail et les nouvelles générations [Workplace relations and the new generations], as part of the Colloque de droit du travail et de l’emploi : le choc des générations sur le marché du travail, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, February 16, 2016.
  • Co-speaker: Le grief syndical et l’abus de droit [Union grievances and abuse of rights], dans le cadre du Colloque de droit du travail et de l’emploi, Langlois Knowledge, Québec, February 10, 2015, and Montréal, February 17, 2015.
  • Guest speaker: conference on employer communications with employees during a union certification campaign, as part of the Rendez-vous Relations au travail, Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 2014.
  • Speaker: Communiquer utilement avec ses employés syndiqués dans les moments cruciaux [Communicate effectively with unionized employees at crucial times], as part of the Rendez-vous Relations du travail, Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, Montréal, December 3, 2014.
  • Co-speaker: Maraudage syndical : comment l’employeur peut-il jouer son rôle sans transgresser les interdictions au Code du travail? [Union raiding: how can employers play their part without violating the Labour Code?], as part of the Colloque de droit du travail et de l’emploi, Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, February 4, 2014.
  • Co-speaker: Le vol ou la fraude d’un employé : exercice des droits de gérance et recours judiciaires [Theft or fraud by an employee: Management rights and legal action], Langlois Knowledge, Montréal, January 14, 2014, and Québec, January 22, 2014.
  • Moderator: panel discussion on the virtual workplace, as part of the annual convention of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 2012.
  • Co-speaker: Aiguisez vos habiletés de négociation pour favoriser une gestion humaine rentable et efficace de vos dossiers en assurance invalidité [Sharpen your negotiating skills to achieve more effective, efficient and economic management of your disability insurance files], as part of The Canadian Institute convention, 2011.
  • Speaker: Rôle du gestionnaire dans le contexte d’une négociation de convention collective [The role of the manager in negotiating collective agreements], as part of the training program of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 2010.
  • Co-speaker: Les nouveaux moyens de communication : des outils pour l’entreprise ou un mal à réprouver [New means of communication: useful business tools or an evil to be shunned?], as part of the annual convention of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 2009.
  • Speaker: Mise à jour de la jurisprudence en matière de harcèlement psychologique [Case law update on psychological harassment], as part of the annual symposium on psychological harassment of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 2006 and 2007.
  • Speaker: Quand un accident engendre la responsabilité criminelle de l’entreprise et de ses dirigeants [When an accident triggers criminal liability on the part of the company and its management], for the Regroupement des universités québécoises  and Aon Parizeau Inc., 2005.
  • Speaker: Le harcèlement psychologique : définition et application [Psychological harassment: definition and application], for the members and staff of the Commission des relations du travail du Québec, 2005.
  • Speaker: Négociation raisonnée : les approches souhaitées et le rôle des membres de l’équipe patronale [Reasoned negotiation: preferred approaches and role of the employer’s team members], for the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 2005.
  • Lecturer: Comment conclure une fin d’emploi;  La gestion disciplinaire : loyauté, compétence, assiduité [Disciplinary management: loyalty, competence, presenteeism; Improve your labour relations through reasoned negotiating] and Améliorez vos relations du travail par la négociation raisonnée [How to terminate the employment relationship], as part of the continuing education program of the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, since 2004.
  • Speaker: La gestion disciplinaire au quotidien : une approche proactive et engageante [Day-to-day disciplinary management: a proactive and winning approach], for the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 2004.
  • Speaker: L’équité salariale – urgence d’agir [Pay equity – urgent action required], for the Université du Québec, 2004.
  • Speaker: Le licenciement collectif [Collective dismissal], for Insight, 2004.
  • Speaker: Symposium on psychological harassment in the workplace: rights, obligations and remedies, for the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés, 2004.

Two years of study toward a Master’s degree in Social and Labour Law, 1979

LL.B., Université de Montréal, 1977