Filing a complaint with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) — Labour standards
The commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) is the body that oversees compliance with labour standards for non-union workers.
Even if you are unionized, some of your work may not be subject to the grievance procedure. In the case of work not subject to the grievance procedure, you can file a complaint with the CNESST the same as non-union workers.
You can file a complaint with the CNESST if you are or you have been a victim of psychological, sexual or discriminatory harassment when doing work not subject to the grievance procedure.
Who can file a complaint with the CNESST?
You can file a complaint with the CNESST by yourself.
When to file a complaint with the CNESST?
You have 2 years after the last event involving psychological or sexual harassment to file a complaint.
How to file a complaint with the CNESST?
You can file a complaint with the CNESST in two ways:
- By telephone at 1 844 838-0808
Consult the CNESST website for more information on the complaints process.
Effects of a harassment complaint to the CNESST
The CNESST will first examine your complaint. It’s then possible that the CNESST will suggest that you go to mediation with your employer to try to find a solution to the situation.
It’s also possible that the CNESST will conduct an investigation further to your complaint. The CNESST will then decide whether your complaint should be transferred to the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT) (administrative labour tribunal).
If your complaint is transferred to the TAT, an administrative judge will determine whether you were a victim of harassment. When the administrative judge finds that you were indeed a victim of harassment, he or she can require, among other things, that your employer:
- Take steps to stop the harassment.
- Pay for your psychological healthcare services for a certain period of time.
- Pay you compensation for what you have endured.
If your complaint is transferred to the TAT, you can be represented by a CNESST lawyer free of charge.
You have the right to file a complaint with the CNESST
Your employer does not have the right to punish you because you filed a complaint with the CNESST. Your employer, for example, cannot dismiss you, suspend you, transfer you to another position or discriminate against you.
If your employer does, you can report the situation to the CNESST. You have 45 days to do so.
Consult the CNESST website for more information.