Filing a claim with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) — Work health and safety
It can happen that a situation on a job site affects your physical or psychological health to the point where you need to be absent from work. If it was a situation involving harassment, it could be considered an employment injury and you could be entitled to compensation during your absence from work or to reimbursement for healthcare services received.
An injury can be physical or psychological. For example:
- Your employer has been insulting you and belittling you for several weeks. You tell yourself that it will eventually stop, but you can’t sleep. You doctor diagnoses you with depression.
- A co-worker complains about your work and then pushes you while you’re performing a certain task. You fall to the ground and hurt your back. Your doctor diagnoses you with a back injury.
You need to file a claim with the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) if you believe that you have been the victim of an employment injury.
You can file a claim with the CNESST regardless of whether or not you were performing work subject to the grievance procedure at the time the harassment occurred.
Who can file a claim with the CNESST?
You can file a claim by yourself with the CNESST.
Your employer is required to help you with the procedure.
Your union can also help you with this procedure.
When to file a claim with the CNESST?
You must notify your employer or any person who represents your employer as soon as possible after the injury. You must also consult a doctor to obtain a medical certificate.
You can then file your claim with the CNESST if you need to be absent from work for more than 14 days or if you wish to be reimbursed for medical expenses. You have 6 months to file your claim with the CNESST.
How to file a claim with the CNESST?
You need to complete a form called the “Réclamation du travailleur” (worker claim form). You can complete it online or download it and send it by mail to the CNESST.
Consult the website of the CNESST for more information on the claim process.
Effects of filing a claim with the CNESST
After examining your claim, the CNESST will rule on whether you can receive compensation for your wages and whether to reimburse your medical costs.
You have the right to file a claim with the CNESST
Your employer doesn’t have the right to punish you because you are absent due to a work-related accident or because you filed a claim with the CNESST. For example, your employer cannot dismiss you, suspend you, transfer you to another position or discriminate against you.
You can file a complaint with the CNESST in the 30 days following the punishment imposed by your employer. Consult the website of the CNESST for more information.
Alternatively, you can contact your union to file a grievance. You will have 15 days to file the grievance.
Warning! If you file a grievance, you cannot also file a complaint with the CNESST.