Justice department wants records kept for Phoenix class-action suit
Any policies requiring documents to be deleted should be suspended, department tells staff
Faced with an expanding class-action lawsuit related to the Phoenix pay system, the federal government is taking steps to preserve records.
Last April, a court in Quebec authorized a class-action lawsuit for people who had been affected by the failed pay system.
It does not include the majority of public servants who have a union process for grievances, but does include students, retirees and occasional workers who aren't covered under collective agreements.
The law firm Sarailis, which is handling the suit, estimates there could be between 40,000 and 70,000 claimants.
Julien Fortier, a lawyer with the firm, said the number could grow because the system isn't fixed yet and more students and more retirees are being affected.
The lead plaintiff is Ezmie Bouchard, who worked at Passport Canada between January and August 2016.
She alleges several mistakes were made on her pay and that when she left, she was owed $4,800. Then she was overpaid.
The Department of Justice issued a document, later obtained by Radio-Canada, saying that pay records, complaints and applications for fixes to the pay system should all be kept.
The department also wants to ensure documents and memos about the decisions made around the system are all saved.
Any current policies requiring the documents to be deleted should be suspended, the document says.
The department is also appointing "guardians" to ensure files are protected.
With files from Radio-Canada