A Montreal school board has been ordered to rehire a teacher who failed to disclose that he had been convicted of killing his wife in1990.
Ginette L'Heureux, a spokesperson for the Quebec Human Rights Commission, said Jean-Alix Miguel has the right to earn a living.
"If you're a convicted pedophile, you can't get a job in a daycare. If you're an arsonist, you can't get a job as a fireman. But if the crime is not related to the job, you can't be discriminated against," she told CTV Montreal.
Miguel pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 1990 after a heated argument with his wife at their home on Montreal's west island.
He was sentenced to seven years in jail, and upon his release in 1998, he was hired to teach electronics at the Montreal trade school Ecole des metiers de la Construction de Montreal.
On an application form he filled out for the job, Miguel said he had never been convicted of a crime.
It wasn't until 2004 that the school discovered Miguel's criminal record, through a worker's compensation claim, and terminated his employment.
Miguel's union challenged his dismissal, and an arbitrator has ruled that under the Quebec charter of rights, he can't be fired for a crime not linked to his job.
It also ruled that he suffered a psychotic episode at the time of the crime and likely would not re-offend.
The school board appealed the decision to the Quebec Superior Court, but it was upheld.
School board spokeperson Louise Richard said on Thursday that officials are studying the case and considering whether to file another appeal.
Several students at the school where he worked had mixed feeling about the case.
"Personally, I don't think he should be re-hired. I think he should be in jail," said one student.
Another argued Miguel had paid his debt to society and should be free to return to work.