Ridout Barron


RCMP employee wins harassment suit

A landmark decision has been reached in Ontario, which could expand the rights of employees who claim to be the victims of harassment in the workplace. Calgary residents are already aware of how prevalent and pervasive workplace harassment can be, and this is true not just here but all over Canada. It is hoped that the decision of the Ontario Superior Court might bring more attention to harassment in other provinces as well. 

According to the decision that has since been published, a plaintiff said he experienced "adverse treatment" from his superiors in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he had been employed since 1998. In 2005, he pursued nomination as a candidate in the federal Progressive Conservative party, which he said led to bullying and other forms of harassment from management. He contended that his superiors had also set out to intentionally damage his reputation and career prospects.

The plaintiff said he had suffered severe emotional distress as a result of having to leave his position despite good performance reviews. He also claims to have developed depression as a result of these experiences. Ultimately, the court ruled in his favour, calling his employers' conduct "egregious". He was awarded damages totalling $100,000 from the RCMP. 

All Canadians, both here in Calgary and across the nation, should take workplace harassment very seriously -- particularly those in an employer role. Of course, not all employers do this, and this is why legal support is made available to victims of workplace harassment throughout Canada. Seeking out the advice of an employment attorney in handling the steps of escalating a harassment complaint to a court of law can be a good first step to ending the harassment once and for all. 

Source: mondaq.com, "Court Confirms Employees Can Sue For Harassment", Evan Campbell, Aug. 11, 2017

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