Lawyer, Partner - Montréal
André Sasseville has practiced labour and employment law since the beginning of his career. During his many years of practice, he has acted as strategic advisor and spokesperson for a wide variety of employers in negotiating collective agreements and resolving labour disputes. He is an acknowledged expert in crisis management.
He represents clients on a regular basis before specialized labour tribunals and civil law courts, including in class action matters.
André routinely advises businesses on the interpretation of collective agreements and on how to implement changes in human-resources management, including collective layoffs and technological changes. He has extensive experience representing employers before provincial and federal labour relations boards in unionization and union raiding matters, among others.
In cooperation with his network of Quebec, Canadian and North American law practitioners, André is often called upon to advise foreign businesses on transfers, acquisitions and sales of businesses with large numbers of employees. In this regard, he has developed special expertise in the negotiation of facilitating conditions for executives (golden parachutes, bonus plans, etc.) and in designing prevention strategies.
Businesses regularly consult André regarding the negotiation and drafting of employment agreements for their executives, including the development of incentive programs, bonus plans, stock option programs, and supplementary pension plans.
André has appeared on many occasions before all levels of the civil courts, and is thus familiar not only with their official procedures but with their practices and idiosyncrasies. He has taken on many hundreds of cases involving employment practices, pension plans, fiduciary duties and directors’ liability.
André 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 that use “partnering” to resolve conflicts affecting groups of employees. With many years of experience as a lecturer and training instructor, he offers clients made-to-measure business training programs on subjects specific to human resources management, conflict prevention, and labour relations.
In his practice, André advises and represents his clients from a strategic perspective oriented towards resolving disputes and misunderstandings efficiently and advantageously. His extensive experience enables him to act effectively in urgent situations and in cases of critical importance for the organization.
Two years of study toward a master’s degree in social and labour law, 1979
Law degree, LL.B., University of Montréal, 1977
Rankings & Recognitions
- Chambers Canada 2020
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2020
- Benchmark Litigation Canada 2019
- Chambers Canada 2019
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2018
- Benchmark Canada 2018
- Chambers Canada 2018
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2018
- The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory 2017
- Benchmark Canada 2017
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2017
- The Best Lawyers in Canada 2016
Areas of Practice
Council of the Huron-Wendat Nation
Since 2015 André has been representing the Council of the Huron-Wendat Nation in several major files involving its police force, including one regarding the dismissal of its chief of police. Since 2017 he has sat on a parity committee on climate change as resource person for the Council.
City of Laval
Since May 2013 André has been advising 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 into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry. 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.
Order of Chartered Professional Accountants
Since 2014 he has provided training sessions on human resources management and labour law in connection with the continuing professional education program of the CPA.
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.
In 2009 and 2010 André served on the L’Allier Committee, which was created by the Quebec 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 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 S.T.C.U.Q. (now the R.T.C.) 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 S.T.C.U.Q. in connection with its bid to improve its labour relations. As part of this mandate, he also acted as spokesperson for the S.T.C.U.Q. 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 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.
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.
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.
- 2018 – Adoption and Coming into Force of the Act to Amend the Act Respecting Labour Standards
- 2017 – Psychological Harassment, Boon or Bane: How to Interact With the CNESST?
- 2014 – Unionization Campaigns: How Can an Employer Play its Role Without Running Afoul of The Labour Code Commandments?
- 2014 – Theft or Fraud by an Employee: Management Rights and Legal Action
- 2013 – Can an Employer Waive a Prior Notice of Termination of Employment Given by an Employee?
2017 – Georges Samoisette Fournier and André Sasseville, ”L’employé sonneur d’alarme dans la lutte contre la corruption: Outil efficace ou obstacle à la Gestion des ressources humaines” (Whistleblower employees in the fight against corruption: effective tool or obstacle for human resources management), Développements récents en droit du travail, Yvon Blais, 2017, 34 pages
2016 – “Rapports collectifs de travail : les disparités de traitement envers les salariés des nouvelles générations” (Collective Labour Relations and New Generations of Employees)
2013 – Robert P. Gagnon, ”Le droit du travail du Québec” (Quebec labour law), 7th ed. by Bernard Cliche, Yann Bernard and André Sasseville, Yvon Blais, 932 pages
- 2019 – Series of Workshops on Labour and Employment Law 2019-2020 | What Are the Latest Developments With Regards to the Employer’s Obligations When It Comes to Harassment?
- 2019 – Symposium 2019 – Labour & Employment Law
- 2018 – Running a Business When Labour Is Scarce
- 2018 – Sixth Annual Training Symposium on Labour and Employment Law 2018 | Dealing with a Campaign for Union Certification: How to Prevent It, or How to Come to Terms with and Even Benefit from It
- 2017 – 360 Degrees of Employment Law | Psychological Harassment: From Here to Infinity and Even Beyond
- 2017 – Employment Law, Former Employee’s Obligation of Loyalty, and Protection of Business Secrets
- 2017 – Symposium on Labour & Employment Law
- 2016 – Employment Law, Former Employee’s Obligation of Loyalty, and Protection of Business Secrets
- 2016 – Symposium on Labour & Employment Law
- 2015 – Symposium on Labour & Employment Law
- 2014 – Symposium on Labour & Employment Law
- 2014 – Theft or Fraud by an Employee: Management Rights and Legal Action
2018 – Invited by the Order of Certified Human Resources Professionals (CHRP) to speak at its annual convention, regarding work-life balance and the right to disconnect.
2017 – Invited to speak at a conference on recent developments in labour law regarding whistleblower employees in the fight against corruption.
2014 – Invited by the Order of Certified Human Resources Professionals (CHRP) to speak at a conference on labour relations, regarding employer communications with employees during a union certification campaign.
2012 – Moderator of a panel discussion on the virtual workplace during the annual convention of the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources and Industrial Relations Professionals
2011 – “Sharpen your negotiating skills to achieve more effective, efficient and economic management of your disability insurance files”, Canadian Institute, together with Martine Bergeron
2010 – Presentation in connection with the training program of the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources and Industrial Relations Professionals, entitled “The role of the manager in negotiating collective agreements”
2009 – “New means of communication: useful business tools or an evil to be shunned?”, annual convention of the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources Professionals, together with Martin Pelletier, CIRC, articling student
2006-2007 – Case law update on psychological harassment for the annual symposium on psychological harassment of the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources and Industrial Relations Professionals
2005 – “When an accident triggers criminal liability on the part of the company and its management” for the Regroupement des Universités québécoises (association of Quebec universities) and Aon Parizeau Inc.
2005 – “Psychological harassment: definition and application” for the members and staff of the Commission des relations du travail du Québec (Quebec labour relations board)
2005 – “Reasoned negotiation: preferred approaches and role of the employer’s team members” for the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources and Industrial Relations Professionals
Since 2004 – Lecturer in the continuing education program of the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources and Industrial Relations Professionals on the following topics: “How to terminate the employment relationship”; “Disciplinary management: loyalty, competence, presenteeism”; ”Improve your labour relations through reasoned negotiating”
2004 – “Day-to-day disciplinary management: a proactive and winning approach” for the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources and Industrial Relations Professionals
2004 – “Pay equity – urgent action required” for the University of Quebec
2004 – “Collective dismissal” for Insight
2004 – “Symposium on psychological harassment in the workplace: rights, obligations and remedies” for the Quebec Order of Certified Human Resources and Industrial Relations Professionals
From 2009 to 2017 – Lecturer in labour law at the Quebec Bar’s professional training school
Since 2007 – Member of the board of directors of Langlois Kronström Desjardins
Since 1999 – Certified Trainer, Société québécoise de la main-d’oeuvre
1993-2003 – Director of credit union Caisse populaire Desjardins Domaine Saint-Sulpice, of which he has been secretary and chair
1981-2001 – Lecturer at the University of Montreal, successively in collective labour relations law and employment law
2007-2012 – Member of the board of directors of Langlois Kronström Desjardins
Since 2003 – Member of the Mediation and Arbitration Institute (Institut de médiation et d’arbitrage du Québec)
Since 1984 – Member of the Order of Certified Human Resources (Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines agréés) (CHRP) of which he was the syndic between 2006 and 2011