Prohibited practices

When a complaint for a prohibited practice is filed

The employee’s collaboration is essential for the processing of his complaint. He will have to:

  • support the claims he makes with verifiable facts
  • collaborate with the various representatives of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail.

The employee will have to provide:

  • his name, address and telephone number
  • the name, address and telephone number of his employer
  • the date when his employment began
  • the date when his employment ended or of the measure taken against him
  • a short text mentioning the circumstances that led to his dismissal or to any other measure
  • his signature
  • a copy of his record of employment and a pay sheet if possible.

He should know that:

  • his employer will be informed of his complaint
  • only the Tribunal administratif du travail can determine if he was indeed the victim of a prohibited practice.

It will be up to the employer to show that the sanctions that he imposed do not constitute prohibited practices.

Service de renseignement

You can file a complaint in two ways:

1 . On-line

2. By telephone at 1-844 838-0808

Reception of the complaint

Here are the different steps in the complaint processing.

Reception of the complaint

Can the complaint be accepted?

The Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail makes sure that the complaint is admissible. A representative gets in touch with the complainant and checks:

  • that he is an employee in an enterprise under  provincial jurisdiction
  • that one of the situations described in section 122 occurred and that a sanction was imposed on him
  • that there is concomitance between the event that occurred and the sanction that was imposed
  • that the employee worked for at least 3 months, if the sanction imposed results from an absence owing to sickness, accident or a crime
  • that he filed the complaint within the stipulated time periods.
When the complaint cannot be accepted

If the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail considers the complaint inadmissible, it writes to the employee to notify him that it is putting an end to the process and it explains why. The employee has the right to apply in writing to the Director General of Legal Affairs at the Commission for a review of this decision within 30 days of receiving it. The Director General of Legal Affairs in turn has 30 days after receiving the application for review to make his decision. If the Commission does not receive an application for review, it closes the file.

When the complaint is admissible

If the claim is deemed admissible, the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail:

  • notifies the employee that it will follow up on the complaint as soon as possible
  • informs the employer that a complaint for a prohibited practice has been filed against him
  • designates a mediator who contacts the employee and the employer.

    Mediation is accepted in more than 85% of the cases and a satisfactory settlement is reached 7 out of 10 times. When there is an agreement following mediation, the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail puts an end to its intervention.

    If there is no agreement following mediation, the complaint is sent to the Direction générale des affaires juridiques of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail in preparation for a hearing before the Tribunal administratif du travail.

    When the complaint cannot be accepted

    If the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail considers the complaint inadmissible, it writes to the employee to notify him that it is putting an end to the process and it explains why. The employee has the right to apply in writing to the Director General of Legal Affairs at the Commission for a review of this decision within 30 days of receiving it. The Director General of Legal Affairs in turn has 30 days after receiving the application for review to make his decision. If the Commission does not receive an application for review, it closes the file.

    When the complaint is admissible

    If the claim is deemed admissible, the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail:

    • notifies the employee that it will follow up on the complaint as soon as possible
    • informs the employer that a complaint for a prohibited practice has been filed against him
    • designates a mediator who contacts the employee and the employer.

    Mediation is accepted in more than 85% of the cases and a satisfactory settlement is reached 7 out of 10 times. When there is an agreement following mediation, the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail puts an end to its intervention.

    If there is no agreement following mediation, the complaint is sent to the Direction générale des affaires juridiques of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail in preparation for a hearing before the Tribunal administratif du travail.

    Mediation offer

    If the complaint is admissible, it is entrusted to a mediator who contacts the employee and his employer to offer them his services.
    With the help of the mediator, they endeavour together to find solutions that are satisfactory to both parties. They may call on the mediation service during every stage of the complaint process. This service, which is very efficient, makes it possible to settle close to 40% of the complaints.

    A service geared to communication

    In a climate that is conducive to discussions, the mediator helps the parties to establish a dialogue. In the presence of one another, they can express their respective points of view, examine possible solutions and negotiate the terms of an agreement to which they freely consent.

    An advantageous service

    Mediation makes it possible to:

    • actively participate in the search for satisfactory solutions
    • retain control over the decisions to be made
    • save time and money, while limiting worries
    • arrive at an agreement freely consented to.
    A professional service

    The mediators with the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail are subject to rules of ethics. Their role, their duties and their responsibilities, notably concerning impartiality, fairness and confidentiality, are specified in this pamphlet.

    The mediator is a neutral person, who does not take sides with the employer or the employee. He must:

    • explain to them the rules of mediation
    • inform them of their rights and obligations
    • provide them with his support throughout the initiative, without ever taking their place
    • create a climate that is conducive to dialogue
    • help the employee and the employer to explain the facts related to the conflict
    • help them to find settlement avenues
    • help them to clearly evaluate the situation and the proposed solutions
    • make sure that the employee and the employer are satisfied with the draft agreement.

    To be fully objective, the mediator cannot already have been active in other capacities in the case. He must act in complete confidentiality. No one may compel him to disclose the information entrusted to him during his mandate.

    Sending of the complaint to the Tribunal administratif du travail

    Hearing

    Mediation may be refused by the employee or his employer. Moreover, it may not necessarily produce an agreement. The complaint is then sent to the Tribunal administratif du travail for a hearing before a commissioner. Only the commissioner can determine if the employee was the victim of a prohibited practice.

    Preparation

    When the complaint is sent to the Tribunal administratif du travail, the case is submitted to a lawyer at the Direction générale des affaires juridiques of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail. He will contact the employee to offer to represent him free of charge and to invite him to prepare.

    The complainant may wait from 6 to 8 months before obtaining a hearing date. Before the planned date of the hearing, the lawyer from the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail can accompany the complainant to a conciliation session offered by the Tribunal administratif du travail. If an agreement is reached on that occasion, the hearing will no longer be necessary.

    If the complainant prefers, he can be represented by the lawyer of his choice at his expense.

    A few tips for the day of the hearing
    • Dress appropriately: avoid attracting attention or offending others
    • Make sure that you are present in the hearing room before the set time
    • Avoid discussing your case outside the hearing room
    • When testifying, speak clearly, in a loud voice and with assurance
    • Pay attention to each question asked
    • Remain calm

    Powers of the Tribunal administratif du travail
    If the complaint is accepted, the commissioner can order:

    • that the employee be reinstated in his position, with all of his rights and privileges
    • that the employee be paid an indemnity equal to the amount of the wages and benefits lost as a result of the imposing of the sanction.

    In the case of a domestic, the commissioner can only order that his employer pay him an indemnity corresponding to the wages and other benefits of which he was deprived after being dismissed.