The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has awarded a record $200,000 as a human rights damage award in the case of AB v Joe Singer Shoes Limited, where the employee suffered injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect resulting from repeated sexual assault and harassment.
The intolerance brought on by the #MeToo movement is being mirrored in Human Rights Tribunal decisions across the country as awards for damages relating to sexual harassment show an upward trend. There are also other changes brewing in human rights law, particularly in Ontario. A recent decision on age discrimination and benefit coverage may require significant amendments to employer benefit plans and resulting costs to employers.
Employers would be well-advised to implement strong anti-discrimination, harassment and workplace violence policies which include provisions regarding processes, investigations and training.