Discriminatory remarks and unlawful dismissal in the company deemed inclusive

It all started in the fall of 2019, when Khalid Sbai got a managerial position at Panthera Dental. The family business in Quebec, then booming, designs and manufactures dental prostheses. Khalid Sbai got the job after being advised by a recruiting firm. Born in France, he worked for ten years in Dubai and specialized in international trade.

A few weeks after taking office, Khalid Sbai left Montreal to settle in the Quebec region with his wife and three children.

It’s a family sacrifice, and that’s itsays the man, sitting in his sunny courtyard in Boischatel.

Panthera Dental specializes in the production of maxillofacial prostheses and orthoses for sleep medicine.

Photo: Radio-Canada

This move was one of the conditions for obtaining the position, he says, pointing out that his wife had to find a new job and that his children had to go to a new school.

His experience in Quebec, however, took an unexpected turn. A little over two months after he took office and less than two weeks after the transfer, he was fired.

It was a shock, there is no other term. There was no sign of such an abrupt decision.

A quote from Khalid Sbai

In January 2020, Khalid Sbai filed a lawsuit against his former employer for wrongful dismissal.

fit pas”,”text”:”Ça ne fit pas”}}”>It is not so in shape not

During the hearings, Panthera Dental failed to convince Judge Johanne April that Khalid Sbai had been fired for just cause. Human resources director Nathalie Planche testified that the company’s president, Gabriel Robichaud, informed her that he had to fire Sbai on the grounds that “he did not in shape not “.

However, in the days leading up to his firing, Khalid Sbai assures us that his boss has expressed to him that he is satisfied with his job.

This is Diane Robichaud, the director of the laboratory and Gabriel’s aunt, who allegedly alerted Gabriel Robichaud about the former employee after working alongside him for a few days. She points it out short attention spanhis lack of interest and his irrelevant questions.

Sbai”,”text”:”Impossible pour moi de travailler ou de collaborer avec M.Sbai”}}”>Impossible for me to work or collaborate with Mr. Sbaisummed up in court.

However, the judge found that the company did not take the necessary steps before firing him, as his shortcomings were not disclosed to him and he was not entitled to a period of time to adjust management’s expectations.

In this regard, the lawyer specializing in labor law Me François Leduc believes that companies should take note of this aspect of the ruling.

For employers, it is not to believe that, because an employee is on probation, the employer has full freedom to fire him without thinking that there are appeals for the employees.

He also believes that the move of Mr. Sbai and his family in the context of hiring him fall within the aggravating circumstances for the employer and justify the compensation prescribed by the judge.

Discriminatory remarks

Mr. Sbai is convinced that his dismissal has more to do with his Moroccan origins.

: \”Khalid, bienvenue à Québec, mais sache qu’ici, les gens sont extrêmement racistes!\” Ce à quoi j’ai répondu: \”ce ne sont pas des propos extrêmement rassurants!\””,”text”:”Dès le premier jour, on m’a dit: \”Khalid, bienvenue à Québec, mais sache qu’ici, les gens sont extrêmement racistes!\” Ce à quoi j’ai répondu: \”ce ne sont pas des propos extrêmement rassurants!\””}}”>From day one I was told: “Khalid, welcome to Quebec, but know that people here are extremely racist!” To which I replied: “these are not extremely reassuring words!”

It claims that its Moroccan cultural origins were badly perceived, even totally accepted by some members of management. The manager also claims he was also a victim of discrimination within his former employer, Pratt & Whitney Canada.

It is particularly addressed to Béatrice Robichaud, vice president of Panthera Dental. The trans business woman is known for her involvement in advocating for communities of sexual and gender diversity. According to Khalid Sbai, he allegedly made discriminatory and intolerant remarks towards the Muslim religion, referring to her countries of the middle east when he was born in France.

Beatrice Robichaud

Béatrice Robichaud is the winner of the Relève, an exceptional woman award at the 41st gala of Les Mercuriades.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Steve Breton

Before the Court, Béatrice Robichaud denied having made such observations.

The judge did not believe her and determined that this behavior is unacceptable. He awarded the former employee $ 10,000 in exemplary damages.

Panthera, through the voice of Beatrice, has disrespectfully reached Sbai in her deepest values.

A quote from Extract of the sentence

As part of a company that prides itself on being open-minded, which prides itself on having half of its employees from different backgrounds, but which goes against what it prides itself on doing, is something that has particularly troubled me and which is absolutely necessary to reportsays Khalid Sbai.

Dental étudie présentement la possibilité de porter la cause en appel. Donc, puisque la cause est toujours devant les tribunaux et par respect pour le processus judiciaire, PantheraDental ne fera pas de plus ample commentaire”,”text”:”PantheraDental étudie présentement la possibilité de porter la cause en appel. Donc, puisque la cause est toujours devant les tribunaux et par respect pour le processus judiciaire, PantheraDental ne fera pas de plus ample commentaire”}}”>Panthera Dental is currently evaluating the possibility of appealing. Therefore, as the case is still in the courts and out of respect for the legal process, Panthera Dental will not comment further.the company replied in an email to Radio-Canada.

toxic climate

Another testimony corroborates the allegations of Khalid Sbai. In a letter delivered to the court, Marie-Pier Blouin, former director of human resources who hired Mr. Sbai, report a toxic work environment.

The disrespect was practically supported by the management.

A quote from Former Human Resources Director at Panthera Dental

According to her, family members often held heated meetings where screaming was common. The former employee says she bitterly regrets the time spent at the Panthera, where she worked for less than a year. During this period you claim to have fired a dozen workers, personnes”,”text”:”ce qui est énorme pour une entreprise de 100personnes”}}”>which is huge for a company of 100 peopleshe says.

As for Khalid Sbai, he hasn’t found a new job yet. Although they love the Quebec region, he and his wife are considering moving again.

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