Board Finds Sexual Harassment Took Place

first_imgAn independent human rights board of inquiry has found BayLanding Dining Room and Lounge in Prospect Bay and formeremployee Tommy Duggan liable for sexual harassment. The board awarded former employee, Jan Slaunwhite of ProspectBay, $3,500 in general damages and $6,760 in lost wages. BayLanding Dining Room and Lounge has also been ordered to develop asexual harassment policy acceptable to the Nova Scotia HumanRights Commission within six months. The policy must beimplemented two months after that occurs. The board of inquiry found that Ms. Slaunwhite was sexuallyharassed by her co-worker on Nov. 5, 2000 while she was tendingbar at the Bay Landing Dining Room and Lounge. Board chair BonitaSmall also found that the employer was liable for the behaviourof its employee, Mr. Duggan. Ms. Small wrote that Bay Landing managers did not take adequatesteps in accordance with the Human Rights Act to “send a propermessage to the complainant that this was being taken seriouslyand to the general public that such behaviour would not betolerated.” Ms. Slaunwhite alleged Mr. Duggan stayed after hours to help herclose the bar and sexually harassed her by making lewd remarks,touching her and trying to make her touch him in a sexual way. A complaint is referred to a board of inquiry when the NovaScotia Human Rights Commission believes a prima facie case ofdiscrimination is made after an investigation by a human rightsofficer. The chief judge of the Provincial Court selects anominee to chair the hearing from a roster and the commissionersratify the nomination. The decision on the complaint is then inthe hands of the independent board. Evidence collected during the investigation of a complaint ispresented at the hearing by the commission’s legal counsel. Thecomplainant and respondent can make submissions and questionwitnesses. The board chair then decides whether or notdiscrimination has occurred. All parties have a right to appeal decisions of boards of inquiryto the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal. A copy of the independent board decision is available on thecommission’s website athttp://gov.ns.ca/humanrights/decisions/2005decisions.htm .last_img

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