Some battles are over quickly, and some are waged over long periods of time. Court battles over employment issues, whether fought here in Alberta or elsewhere, can sometimes take the latter route. This proved true for an RCMP officer who took his employer to court over harassment he claimed to be dealing with at work. In the end, his patience was rewarded.
The officer testified his problems began in 2005 when he ran for a provincial Conservative party nomination. The party platform supported traditional marriage definitions, the end of the gun registry and accusing the Liberal government of corruption. He claims his superior officers took issue with his politics, and launched a serious of code of conduct investigations.
The ongoing investigations made him feel bullied and uncomfortable at work and repeated pleas to senior members led nowhere. His frustration turned to depression, and health issues soon followed, culminating in heart surgery. Attempts to gain access to information for a lawsuit were repeatedly denied. It took until Nov. 2014 to bring his case to trial, and 12 weeks of testimony was spread out over more than a year.
A judge finally ruled in the officer’s favour, issuing a 176-page ruling. In the ruling, the judge had harsh words for the RCMP, referring to their conduct as “outrageous.” He was awarded $41,000 for lost wages and $100,000 in damages.
No one deserves to be made to feel uncomfortable at work because of his or her beliefs. Bullying and harassment are serious employment issues and should not be ignored. Issues like these can be brought to a lawyer who handles Alberta employment law cases for review. He or she will be able to advise if there is a basis for a lawsuit.
Source: ca.news.yahoo.com, “Judge calls RCMP treatment of sergeant ‘outrageous’ in bullying case“, March 1, 2017