Victory! Sexual harassment in workplace recognised as sexual discrimination

The Supreme Court states that sexual harassment is a form of sexual discrimination and employers who tolerated it would be held responsible.

One of the most important legal cases is Robichaud v Canada (Treasury Board), [1987] 2 S.C.R. 84 where the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that sexual harassment in the workplace is a form of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act.  The Court also ruled that a corporation can be found liable for employees’ discriminatory conduct “in the course of their employment” as the employers are responsible for maintaining a harassment-free work environment.  The Court wrote: “only an employer can remedy undesirable effects and only an employer can provide the most important remedy—a healthy work environment.”

Chief Justice Brian Dickson, in the case of Canadian Janzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd.[1989] declared: “Sexual harassment in the workplace may be broadly defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that detrimentally affects the work environment or leads to adverse job related consequences for the victims of the harassment.”