News Release - December 6, 2000
SETTLEMENT REACHED IN HARASSMENT CASE
Donna Scott, Chief Commissioner and Director of the Saskatchewan Human Rights
Commission today announced the settlement of a complaint involving allegations
of sexual harassment in a unionized workplace.
Shannon Regier and Barbara Wollf alleged they were sexually harassed by their
supervisor while working as night cleaners at Midtown Plaza in Saskatoon. The
complainants received $9,000 from Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited as well
as a letter from a senior company official expressing regret for the hurt
feelings and discomfort they experienced. The amount of $9,000 is to be
divided between the complainants in their own discretion.
"Sexual harassment continues to be a serious problem for women in the
workplace," Scott said. "Last year nearly 12 per cent of the complaints we
received at the commission were sexual harassment complaints. Most of the
alleged harassment occurred in the workplace."
Regier and Wollf first complained to the commission in 1994 that their
supervisor subjected them to steady and ongoing harassment including crude and
degrading comments and behavior.
Cadillac Fairview challenged the Commission's jurisdiction to investigate the
allegations in a unionized workplace. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal last
year overturned a decision of the Court of Queen's Bench which held that only
an arbitrator under the collective agreement could hear the complaint. The
Court of Appeal ruled the commission has jurisdiction to address allegations of
sexual harassment in a unionized workplace. The complaint was subsequently
Scott said: "It is important for employers to understand they are responsible
for ensuring the workplace is a safe environment, free from sexual harassment
and other forms of discrimination."
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is prohibited in
employment under section 16 of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code.
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For more information, contact:
Donna Scott Donalda Ford
Chief Commissioner and Director Assistant Director
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
Phone: (306) 933-5952 Phone: (306) 787-2530