Ridout Barron


2 women suing employer for sexual harassment

Two women in Winnipeg are suing the car dealership where they both worked after they were allegedly fired for complaining about their treatment in the workplace. The women say they were the target of sexual harassment and abuse, and they were let go when they went to management with their concerns. The allegations presented in both cases are significant, and Calgary residents are likely unsurprised to note the case is being taken very seriously by the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench. 

The two lawsuits, filed July 26 and Aug. 4 respectively, paint a grim picture of a work environment where both women were victimized. The suit describes incidents wherein direct supervisors of both women made sexually explicit comments and even engaged in inappropriate touching, including groping of private areas. A more serious incident is described by one of the two women as being "physically and psychologically restrained" from leaving an area before a manager had completed his sexual advance. 

The pair, who are not named in the report, are suing for an unknown amount in damages. Representation for the two women have pointed out the repetitive nature of the inappropriate conduct as being a key point in the case. The dealership in question was contacted by news media, but has yet to make a public statement. 

Obviously, this conduct is offensive to Calgary residents and most Canadians. Sexual harassment has no place in Canadian workplaces, but unfortunately the reality persists that some individuals and companies will repeatedly ignore the rules and laws in place to prevent such conduct. Thankfully, support exists in the legal community for those suffering from harassment to escalate the issue into the court system when employers fail to properly address the problem. 

Source: CBC News, "2 Winnipeg women suing car dealership over alleged 'sexually toxic workplace'", Austin Grabish, Aug. 30, 2017

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