Ridout Barron


Female jail guard a victim of harassment

A Toronto jail guard has filed a grievance against the jail that employed both her and the man she claimed harassed her for nearly a year. Calgary residents might me surprised to hear that even after the woman reported the harassment, her request for a transfer was delayed while the other guard was promoted. As of now, the woman is reaching out to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne for support in her ongoing case. 

According to the grievance, the woman met the other guard at the now-closed Old Don Jail where they worked together. Sometime later, they became involved in a brief relationship she said ended quickly. After this point, she says, the man repeatedly sent her text messages that were inappropriate and sometimes sexual in nature, despite her requests that he stop. It appears the man messaged her nearly 70 times over a 13-month period. 

The woman was denied stress leave by the province's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board because she apparently did not match the criteria required for compensation. Instead she was placed on long-term sick leave while waiting for the jail to provide her with a position where she did not have to interact with her harasser. In the process, she was forced to sell her home once her sick pay ran out. The case is still being reviewed at this time. 

Being victimized in the workplace is one of the most difficult situations faced by employees, both here in Calgary and across the nation. Harassment of any type is not welcome in Canadian businesses, but unfortunately some situations are not handled as effectively as circumstances require. This is why it is important for anyone who feels  they have been the victim of harassment on the job to seek legal advice from an experienced employment law attorney. 

Source: The Toronto Star, "Jail guard sexually harasses colleague, gets promotion", Jesse McLean, Dec. 12, 2016

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