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Class action filed against RCMP: Lawsuit alleges widespread sexual discrimination and harassment

Jurisdiction: - All
Sector: - Public Safety

The following news release was issued on March 27, 2012 by law firms Klein Lyons, a law firm with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, and / or Watkins Law, a law firm in Thunder Bay, Ontario:

Lawsuit Alleges Widespread Sexual Discrimination and Harassment

VANCOUVER, March 27, 2012-A class action lawsuit was filed today in the B.C. Supreme Court against the R.C.M.P. on behalf of female employees of the RCMP. The suit, filed by former RCMP constable Janet Merlo, alleges widespread systemic discrimination by the RCMP against female members, civilian members and civil service employees.

The Notice of Civil Claim describes the sexist comments, sexual pranks, derogatory remarks, and double standard that Janet Merlo endured during her 20 years with the RCMP. "It's too late for me" said Merlo, "but I hope that this lawsuit will bring about some positive change for women who are still with the RCMP and women who join in the future."

Thunder Bay lawyer, Sandy Zaitzeff, one of the lawyers leading the class action lawsuit added "We've been contacted by over 150 current and former RCMP members who come from every province in Canada and the North West Territories. For many of these women the consequences of the bullying, harassment and discrimination have been devastating including post-traumatic stress syndrome, attempted suicides, depression, broken relationships, failed marriages and family and children PTSD. This is caused by the systemic paramilitary culture of the RCMP and resultant abuse of authority literally across Canada from detachment to detachment."

The suit was filed by the Vancouver office of Klein Lyons. Klein Lyons is one of Canada's leading class action law firms. They have represented thousands of Canadians in a host of landmark class actions including Hepatitis C tainted blood, Nortel, Crocus Investment Fund, Nfld. Breast Cancer Testing, Light Cigarettes, and Hormone Replacement Therapy.

Sandy Zaitzeff is counsel to Watkins Law ( in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He has represented personal injury clients across Canada, including victims and families from the Dryden Air Crash, and every type of personal injury from quadriplegia to death claims in his 37 years of practice. Watkins Law presently has three lawyers working on the RCMP Class action being Sandy Zaitzeff, Nancy Erickson and Chris Watkins.