Settlement offer not good enough to dismiss harassment complaint

Worker rejected settlement offer after investigation found bad behaviour but no harassment, but settlement offer and lack of corrective measures necessitated hearing before tribunal
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 02/06/2019

A British Columbia university has lost its bid to have an employee’s sex harassment complaint dismissed because the employee didn’t accept what it felt was a reasonable settlement offer.

The worker, who is in her 30s and whose identity was protected in the hearing, started working for a B.C. university in 2015. She reported to a university manager as well as a faculty member who had management responsibilities and the position involved a one-year probationary period.

The worker developed a good working relationship with the faculty member. In March 2016, they went on a business trip that required them to stay overnight at a hotel. They had separate rooms, but the worker left her suitcase in the faculty member’s room when they arrived.