Several stories of sexual harassment in the workplace have been making headlines lately, sparking discussion on the legal rights of workers. In Alberta, a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) has come under fire for firing an employee after she reported sexual harassment in the workplace. The issue has spurred a conversation about employment law and human rights in the province.
The story of the MLA, who now serves as the opposition house leader in Alberta, emerged after media reports revealed a 2008 ruling from the British Columbia human rights tribunal. In the case, the complainant said she was fired after complaining of sexual harassment she experienced while working for a client on a job safety initiative at a construction site. The tribunal ruled in her favour and fined the MLA’s firm and those involved in the incident $32,000.
The woman in the case said that one of the site managers made lewd comments, touched her inappropriately and propositioned her for sex. When she complained about the harassment, the head of the firm and current Alberta MLA fired her. He sent her termination letter to the client first, who gave it to her. The tribunal found that this violated her employment rights.
There is a great deal of controversy over these revelations in Alberta’s political sphere. Some feel it taints the MLA’s opposition to new employment protection laws, while others say that the incident is in the past and that the MLA is remorseful today. Either way, it is clear that the results of employment disputes can have long-lasting effects for both parties. Those seeking support in a case like this should contact a lawyer right away.
Source: huffingtonpost.ca, “Alberta MLA Jason Nixon Fired Employee Who Reported Sexual Harassment“, Dean Bennett, Dec. 12, 2017