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How the pay equity complaints process works

Did you file a pay equity complaint with the CNESST? Here’s how the process works once your complaint is received.

When your complaint is received

When your complaint is received, the CNESST will determine whether or not it is admissible.

If it is admissible, a staff member will contact you to ask you for information and to suggest mediation. You are free to accept or refuse mediation.

If mediation is refused or if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, an investigation is conducted.

What does the investigation involve?

The purpose of the investigation is to establish the facts objectively. The person conducting the investigation collects information from each party to verify the assertions made and examines the evidence regarding the subject of the complaint. To do this, they: 

  • contact the employer and the complainant by telephone or in writing 
  • may hold separate meetings with the employer and the complainant 
  • make sure the employer and the complainant are able to express their point of view in writing or verbally 
  • take note of the information and facts that have been confirmed 

At any time, the complainant may ask that the processing of their file be stopped, in particular if the CNESST's intervention has answered their questions or if changes made by the employer mean that the situation has been resolved.

If the situation is not resolved: a decision is rendered

When the investigation is over, the investigator writes a report based on the facts collected during the investigation. The report is submitted to the authorities designated by the CNESST, who then render a notice of decision. The notice, which is not the final decision, is sent to the complainant and the employer for comment. The CNESST takes note of their comments, if any, and renders its final decision.  

When measures are identified to correct the situation in the company, the CNESST ensures that they are applied by the employer. When the measures identified are not applied properly, the CNESST refers the case to the Administrative Labour Tribunal. 

The employer and the complainant have 90 days to contest the decision with the Tribunal administratif du travail.

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