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Sexual Harassment

British Columbia government bans mandatory high heels in the workplace

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

The British Columbia government announced today that it is following through on its commitment to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace.

This moves follows the introduction of a bill to the same effect by British Columbia Green Party Leader and MLA Andrew Weaver on March 7, 2017,  International Women's Day.

The full text of the news release is as follows:

B.C. bans mandatory high heels in the workplace

The B.C. government has followed through on its commitment to ban mandatory high heels in the workplace, announced Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond.

The requirement to wear high heels in some workplaces is a workplace health and safety issue. There is a risk of physical injury from slipping or falling, as well as possible damage to the feet, legs and back from prolonged wearing of high heels while at work.

The change was made by amending the existing footwear regulation (section 8.22) of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, under the Workers Compensation Act.  read more »

Top 10 most significant employment law cases in Canada for women

In light of International Women's Day back on March 8, 2015, Legal Feeds, the Blog for Canadian Lawyer & Law Times published a list of the most significant court decisions for women in the workplace over the last 25 year, as compiled by the lawyers at Rubin Thomlinson LLP in Ontario. Here is the firm's top 10 list:  read more »

Temporary foreign workers win sexual harassment case; one awarded $150,000 for "injury to dignity" damages

Jurisdiction: - Ontario
Sector: - Fishing

In O.P.T. v. Presteve Foods Ltd., 2015 HRTO 675 - a decision issued on May 25, 2015 - the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ("OHRT") awarded one of the complainants $150,000 for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect due to the sexual solicitations and harassment that she experienced in the workplace. The other complainant was awarded $50,000 for this head of damage.

The $150,000 award is, according to the union that represented the complainants, the new high-watermark for this type of damages in Ontario and, according to some commentators, three times higher than the previous high-water mark.  read more »

Sexually assaulted nanny awarded $50,000 by BC Tribunal for loss of dignity, feelings and self-respect

Jurisdiction: - British Columbia

In PN v. FR and another (No. 2), 2015 BCHRT 60, a nanny who was sexually assaulted and otherwise exploited by her employer, was awarded $50,000 by the BC Human Rights Tribunal for loss of dignity, feelings and self-respect. In awarding these damages the Tribunal stated as follows:

[132]      In this case, the impact of the discriminatory conduct can be seen to be severe. Although it took place over six weeks, the impact was long-lasting and impacts the complainant until now.  read more »

NDP's "Intern Protection Act" debated for first time in Parliament

The federal New Democrat Party (NDP) issued the following press release on February 17, 2015 concerning the Intern Protection Act, which is a private member's bill tabled by NDP MP, Laurin Liu:

NDP will protect interns
 read more »

Alberta Court of Appeal agrees that Syncrude had just cause to dismiss senior employee for sexual harassment

Jurisdiction: - Alberta
Sector: - Oil & Gas

In Clarke v Syncrude Canada Ltd, 2014 ABCA 362, the Alberta Court of Appeal agreed that Syncrude Canada Inc. had just cause to dismiss a 55 year old assistant comptroller who engaged in sexual harassment.

The appeal court summarized the former employee's misconduct and the company's response as follows:

[3]                  The facts are fully set out in the trial reasons, so only a brief summary of the facts is necessary here. Clarke began employment with Syncrude in 1983. When terminated in 2005, he was 55 years old, an assistant comptroller and Syncrude's key contact with its pension fund administrator.  read more »

Study on sexual harassment in the federal workplace released

Topics: - Sexual Harassment
Jurisdiction: - Canada/Federal

The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women has released its study on sexual harassment in the federal workplace: A Study on Sexual Harassment in the Federal Workplace".

The summary of the study is as follows:  read more »