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Step 4. Inquiry

If mediation is refused or does not enable the employer and the employee to reach an agreement, an inquiry is conducted to determine if the complaint should be transferred to the Tribunal administratif du travail for a hearing.

The Tribunal administratif du travail is the only body with the power to decide:

  • if the employee was really a victim of psychological harassment at work
  • if the employer failed to assume his obligations to prevent and put a stop to psychological harassment in his enterprise. 

 

A psychological harassment investigator collects all the information needed to do an in-depth analysis of the situation experienced by the employee. To that end, he:

  • decides if it is necessary to meet the people involved: the complainant, the employer, the presumed harasser and the witnesses
  • checks the means put in place by the employer to prevent psychological harassment, as well as the steps taken to resolve the situation
  • watches for opportunities to conclude an agreement between the employee and the employer
  • pays particular attention to promoting prevention of psychological harassment.

To learn more about the rules governing the investigator’s work, see the brochure Investigation of psychological harassment in the workplace – Rules and ethicsCe lien ouvre dans une nouvelle fenêtre.

If the inquiry shows that a hearing before the Tribunal administratif du travail is justified

  • The psychological harassment investigator notifies the employee and the employer that the complaint will be heard by the Tribunal administratif du travail
  • The investigator transfers the file to the Director General of Legal Affairs of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail so that a lawyer can prepare the file for a hearing.

If the inquiry shows that a hearing before the Tribunal administratif du travail is not justified

  • The psychological harassment investigator notifies the employee that his complaint will not be heard by the Tribunal administratif du travail and gives the reasons for the decision
  • The employee has 30 days to file an application for review in writing.

When an application for review is filed, the Director General of Legal Affairs has 30 days to make a decision. If the decision confirms that the intervention of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail is not justified, the employee may request that his complaint be transferred to the Tribunal administratif du travail. In that case, the employee will not be represented by a lawyer of the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail.

Main reasons why a hearing before the Tribunal administratif du travail is not justified

  • The set of facts analyzed by the investigator does not meet the criteria for psychological harassment with the meaning of the Act
  • The evidence gathered is contradictory and does not confirm the facts reported by the employee
  • The situation corresponds to the exercise of a management right, appropriately applied by the employer
  • The situation has proven to be a conflict between the parties involved rather than psychological harassment
  • The employee has personal problems not connected to his work.