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Contesting a CNESST decision

Workers and employers can apply for an administrative review to contest a CNESST decision, including an inspector’s order or decision.

The inspector’s order or decision is effective immediately, regardless of the situation, even:

  • when an application for an administrative review has been filed with the CNESST
  • when a contestation has been filed with the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT)

If the application for an administrative review concerns the partial or complete closure of a workplace or the exercise of the right of refusal, the CNESST examines the application as a matter of urgency.

 

If you would like to inform the CNESST of an error or an essential fact that was not known at the time of the CNESST’s decision, you can apply for reconsideration of a decision.

What is an administrative review?

An administrative review consists of asking the CNESST to verify whether the file was assessed and processed in accordance with the laws, standards and policies in force with respect to occupational health and safety.

The application must be filed within 30 days of receipt of the decision. The time limit is 10 days in the case of an inspector’s order or decision or a temporary work assignment.

Under the For a Safe Maternity Experience Program, the time limit may also be reduced to 10 days, under certain conditions. The exact time limit to be respected is specified in the CNESST’s decision.

How to apply for an administrative review

You can complete the Application for administrative review form online in the secure space for employers and workers. Some fields will be filled out automatically.

Access Mon espace sécurisé

Would you like to register? Register with Mon Espace CNESST (in French only).

Don’t want to register? Use the :

If you are represented, you must attach a mandate of representation – Worker (in French only) or a mandate of representation – Employer (in French only) to your application for review.

Processing the application for review and decision

Processing the application

The reviewer’s role is to ensure that the decision rendered by those involved in the file complies with the laws, standards and policies in force with respect to occupational health and safety.

They analyze your file and then contact you or your representative to ensure that they understand the reasons for your application for review. During this communication, they explain the decision rendered, note your additional information and check if you have documents to submit for the examination of your file.

If the reviewer’s explanations are satisfactory, you may withdraw and terminate your application for an administrative review.

Decision

The reviewer renders their decision after analyzing the information on file in accordance with the law and the regulations. You or your representative receive their decision by mail or online if you have a file with Mon Espace CNESST.

The reviewer renders a new decision within 90 days of receipt of your application for review. If you request additional time to submit comments or documents, the 90 day period will begin once the reviewer has received them.

If you disagree with the decision, you may contest it before the Tribunal administratif du travail (in French only) within 60 days of receipt of the decision. The time limit is 10 days in the case of an inspector’s order or decision or a temporary work assignment. Under the For a Safe Maternity Experience Program, the time limit may also be reduced to 10 days, under certain conditions. The exact time limit to be respected is specified in the decision.

Withdrawal of an application for review

At any time, you or your representative may terminate your application for an administrative review. You may withdraw until such time as the CNESST has rendered its decision. When your withdrawal is received, the CNESST closes your application for review.

To send your withdrawal, you must either:

  • access Mon Espace CNESST (in French only) or
  • inform the reviewer in writing or verbally

Appeals to the Tribunal administratif du travail

The CNESST has 90 days after receiving all the documents and information related to your application for an administrative review to respond to it. If it has not responded within this time, you may contest the CNESST’s decision before the Tribunal administratif du travail (TAT) (in French only). The CNESST will close your application for an administrative review when the TAT has confirmed the receipt of your contestation.

You may also contest the CNESST’s decision directly before the TAT in the following cases:

  • following an opinion of the Bureau d’évaluation médicale (in French only)
  • following an opinion of the Special Committee of Chairpersons, which analyzes occupational lung diseases
  • following an opinion of the Committee on Occupational Oncological Diseases
  • in financing matters
  • in cost assignment matters

If you have already filed an application with the CNESST for an administrative review and you decide to contest it before the TAT, you must send your withdrawal to the CNESST before contesting it before the TAT. If you did not send a withdrawal to the CNESST, the TAT will transfer your file to the CNESST.

If an employer and a worker contest the same decision, but one has applied to the TAT and the other to the CNESST, the TAT will transfer the file to the CNESST.

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