Earlier this month, Vey Willetts lawyer Andrew Vey spoke with Global News about the novel implications of a recent Ontario court decision for sexual harassment complainants.
The decision in question was triggered by events dating back to 2014, when a female employee reported an allegation of sexual harassment to her employer. The employer, ThyssenKrupp Elevator, conducted an investigation into the harassment allegation, and then elected to dismiss the alleged perpetrator for cause.
In response, the dismissed employee sued ThyssenKrupp Elevator for wrongful dismissal (this remains an ongoing case). While the individual who made the sexual harassment allegation is not a named party in this case, she sought the right to intervene, with her own lawyer.
While this was an unusual request, Master Graham of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice allowed her to do so on the basis that her evidence about sexual harassment would be central to the case, and consequently, her reputation and credibility, would be at stake.
In the article, "There's a new legal protection for sexual harassment complainants", Andrew notes the importance of this new right for sexual harassment complainants, stating that "very often once you make the complaint it kind of feels like it's outside your control, you have no protections any more, this is clawing that back a little bit."
If you are an Ontario employee or employer that needs assistance in making, or responding to, an allegation of sexual harassment at work, or any resulting litigation, please contact one of our lawyers to discuss how we may be able to help.
Vey Willetts LLP is an Ottawa-based employment and labour law firm that provides timely and cost-effective legal advice to help employees and employers resolve workplace issues in Ottawa and across Ontario. 613-238-4430 or firstname.lastname@example.org