Vancouver/Yorkton, Saskatchewan (With files from Huffington Post, Global, CBC) – Three years after the RCMP settled a controversial sexual harassment lawsuit from a number of its Female members for $100 million, the judicial system has seen fit to do the same for women who worked with the RCMP as volunteers or municipal and contract employees.
What started as a complaint from the RCMP Yorkton Saskatchewan detachment quickly spread into a national class action lawsuit.
It has come out that last week, on July 5, the Federal Court of Canada certified the volunteer, municipal and contract worker class action for the purpose of an estimated $100-million settlement.
This is still going through the process as all parties hope the court will sign off on the agreement in the fall. A hearing has been set for October 17.
There could be 1500 individual claims.
A news release from Klein Lawyers says the settlement includes a confidential independent claims process led by female assessors with eligible payments ranging from $10,000 to $220,000 for a proven claim.
Monday, July 8, 2019
Female Non-Policing RCMP Class Action Settlement Reached
Women who experienced gender or sexual orientation based harassment and discrimination while working or volunteering with the RCMP on or after September 16, 1974 may be eligible for compensation under a new proposed settlement. The total value of the settlement is estimated to be $100 million dollars, but the total will depend on how many eligible claims are received. Individual compensation will not be impacted by the number of claims received.
The RCMP and Class Counsel Klein Lawyers LLP and Higgerty Law – on behalf of the plaintiffs Cheryl Tiller, Mary Ellen Copland and Dayna Roach – have reached a settlement in the class action Tiller et al. v. Her Majesty the Queen (Federal Court Action No. T-1673-17) which was filed on behalf of females who worked or volunteered with the RCMP or on RCMP premises.* On July 5, 2019 the class action was certified by the Federal Court on consent of the parties. The settlement is subject to approval by the Federal Court. The approval hearing will take place on October 17, 2019 at the Federal Court in Vancouver, British Columbia at 701 West Georgia.
The settlement includes a confidential independent claims process led by female assessors and a compensation scheme for eligible class members ranging from $10,000 to $220,000 for a proven claim, as determined by an assessor.
*Class Members are all current and former living Municipal Employees, Regional District Employees, employees of non-profit organizations, volunteers, Commissionaires, Supernumerary Special Constables, consultants, contractors, public service employees, students, members of integrated policing units and persons from outside agencies and police forces who are female or publicly identify as female and who were supervised or managed by the RCMP or who worked in an RCMP controlled workplace during the Class Period, excluding individuals who are primary class members in Merlo and Davidson v. Her Majesty the Queen, Federal Court Action Number T-1685-16 and class members in Ross, Roy, and Satalic v. Her Majesty the Queen, Federal Court Action Number T-370-17 or Association des membres de la police montée du Québec inc., Gaétan Delisle, Dupuis, Paul, Lachance, Marc v. HMTQ, Quebec Superior Court Number 500-06-000820-163. The Class Period is September 16, 1974 to July 5, 2019.
Plaintiffs’ counsel will hold a press conference on Monday, July 8, 2019 at 9:00am at Klein Lawyers LLP at 1385 West 8th Avenue, 4th floor, Vancouver, BC. Media may arrive twenty minutes prior to the conference for set-up.
- “This settlement is an acknowledgement of the pain experienced by women who were subjected to harassment and sexual assault while working or volunteering with the RCMP. No amount of money can compensate these women for the harms that they’ve endured, but the settlement gives a voice to their experiences. The settlement is a reminder to these women that they’re not alone and, we hope, will give these women the closure they deserve.” – Angela Bespflug, Class Counsel, Klein Lawyers LLP
For more details contact Angela Bespflug, lead counsel at firstname.lastname@example.org, or counsel Janelle O’Connor at email@example.com or Patrick B. Higgerty, Q.C at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The settlement is subject to approval by the Federal Court, which certified the class-action lawsuit last week.
RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, issued this statement: “Harassment and discrimination do not have a place in our organization. On behalf of the RCMP, I would like to thank the representative plaintiffs, Cheryl Tiller, Mary Ellen Copland and Dayna Roach for their courage in coming forward. I deeply regret that these women were subject to inappropriate behavior in our workplace, and apologize for the pain caused to them and their families.”
After the first legal action in 2016, FVN has asked Fraser Valley RCMP, current and former employees, how they felt. Obviously keeping their anonymity. The media call was put out then, and no one replied.