Toronto Sexual Harassment Lawyers
Sexual harassment is often under-reported and under-litigated. Perpetrators often try to discredit, invalidate, or minimize a victim’s experience of sexual harassment. Gilbertson Davis LLP can represent victims that have experienced a loss, damage, or injury including monetary losses.
Gilbertson Davis LLP understands the sensitive nature of sexual harassment claims. Sexual harassment can effectively prevent an individual from being able to work in their chosen position or preclude an individual from receiving deserved promotions. Sexual harassment can also take a psychological toll on the victim, which may have permanent, severe, and long-lasting effects on one’s quality of life. Sexual harassment can also negatively impact the general working environment by lowering staff morale and decreasing productivity.
Some Forms of Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment involves a broad range of misconduct – whether from a co-worker, employer, or both. Unwelcoming touching of a sexual nature, Quid Pro Quo (sexual propositions), gender-related comments or sexist behaviour, sexual intimidation through text, email, or verbal communications, or targeting employees who do not conform to gender norms are merely a few examples. Violent behaviour can sometimes also occur as an escalation.
Some forms of sexual harassment can also be defamatory in nature. For example, an employee spreading rumours about another employee’s sexual conduct, which tarnishes said employee’s reputation. Please click hereto see Gilbertson Davis LLP’s related practice page on defamation for more information.
Employers may be Liable
Even if your employer did not commit the act of sexual harassment, if it occurred in a workplace setting, employers may be organically liable, liable for creating a poisoned work environment, for retaliatory behaviour to the victim informing their employer they will be commencing a human rights complaint, or vicariously liable. Claims can be pursued even if one is not formally characterized as being in an employer-employee relationship, but rather as an independent contractor, in a joint venture, partnership, or more broadly as a business relationship.
Some considerations include: whether proper training was provided, whether the victim is an employee or an independent contractor, whether the alleged event occurs at the workplace, whether an official complaint was made, whether anti-sexual harassment policies exist in the workplace, whether the victim or the accused was dismissed from their position, and whether the work environment can be characterized as hostile. Gilbertson Davis LLP can advise as to legal consequences of the answers to any of the above considerations.
There May be No Time Limit to Bring a Claim in Ontario
While the general two-year limitation period may still apply depending on the exact nature of the claim, according to section 16(h) of the Limitations Act, (Ontario) (the “Act”) there is no limitation period to bring a claim in Ontario with respect to “a proceeding based on a sexual assault” that occurred in Ontario. In some other circumstances, there will be no limitation period for any other misconduct of a sexual nature if the claim is one which falls within section 16(h.1) (ii) (ii), (iii) of the Act, nor will there be a limitation period for an assault where the claim is one which falls within section 16(h.2) (i), (ii).
Victims of sexual harassment may experience a loss of enjoyment of life and mental anguish that has long-lasting negative effects on their well-being. Compensation may be awarded for reputational damages, emotional distress, physical or psychiatric injuries, to recompense for the employer’s breach of the employment contract and/or fiduciary duty, or for lost wages sustained from being wrongfully dismissed or feeling forced to leave one’s job due to the traumatic experience. Punitive damages may also be available in certain circumstances when the Court wants to communicate their disapproval with reprehensible conduct that may arise in the context of sexual harassment claims. There may also be a variety of urgent equitable remedies available, such as restraining orders, cease and desists, or prohibitory injunctions may be available. For more information of urgent equitable remedies that may be available, please click here.
Why Gilbertson Davis LLP?
Gilbertson Davis LLP has lawyers that can serve your needs in this practice area through results-oriented representation. We are ethical, processional, and practical. We strive to resolve our clients’ disputes efficiently through the provision of quality legal services at reasonable rates. Gilbertson Davis LLP is a firm, which has nearly 35 years of practice in Toronto, Ontario in various related practice areas
Please contact Gilbertson Davis LLP to arrange an initial consultation.