#MeToo has quickly caught wind as a widespread movement that sheds light on the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, particularly in the workplace. As a result of the movement, society’s attitudes towards workplace sexual harassment have started to change; but, has this impacted how courts and tribunals approach sexual harassment cases?
Since 2008, adjudicators appointed under the Ontario Human Rights Code have had the power to award unlimited general damages as compensation for injury to dignity, feelings and self-respect. Since that time however, very few adjudicators have awarded more than $ 40.000 and most awards are under $ 20.000.
The Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication just found that a teenaged employee was sexually harassed by her employer with persistent unwelcome sexual conduct. This finding was underscored by the power imbalance, age difference and generational communication issues present. That said, the harassment was considered to be at the most mild end of the spectrum of sexual harassment.