HRTO finds HRLSC client experienced sexual harassment and solicitation in the workplace

The HRTO recently issued a successful decision for an applicant that the HRLSC represented at hearing: Aloy-Sadakane v. Data & Scientific Inc., 2024 HRTO 770. The applicant alleged that the Executive Vice-President of her former employer, who was named as a personal respondent in her application, repeatedly hugged and touched her inappropriately and made sexualised comments towards her. He would also ask her questions about her sexuality and asked her if she was a “homosexual”.

The personal respondent’s conduct caused the applicant such psychological distress that she went on a medical leave and ultimately resigned from her employment, after only two months on the job. She testified that she developed anxiety and insomnia and began to experience panic attacks, requiring her to receive treatment from a psychiatrist.

The HRTO found that the personal respondent had harassed the applicant on the basis of sex and sexual orientation and made sexual advances towards her, all of which violated the applicant’s rights under the Code. The applicant was awarded $50,000 in general damages to compensate for the injury to her dignity caused by the Code violations, as well as damages meant to compensate for her lost wages and the medical expenses she incurred receiving psychological therapy. The personal respondent was also ordered to undergo training on sexual harassment in the workplace while the employer was required to develop employee materials on sexual harassment.