Degrading and Rude Behaviour Not Necessarily Sexual Harassment

Bailey v. Anmore (Village) (1992), 19 C.H.R.R. D/369 (B.C.C.H.R.)

The B.C. Council of Human Rights finds that Glennis Bailey was not sexually harassed by her supervisor, Don Brown, when she was employed by the Village of Anmore. Though the Council finds that Mr. Brown subjected Glennis Bailey to degrading, rude, and puerile behaviour and comments, some of which were sexual in their content, it rules that this did not constitute sexual harassment within the meaning of s. 8 of the B.C. Human Rights Act because Mr. Brown was equally rude and demeaning in his treatment of male employees.

However, the Council finds that one reason for the termination of Ms. Bailey's employment was the fact that she had filed, or intended to file, a complaint alleging sexual harassment. Her termination thus violates s. 20 of the Act which prohibits retaliation against any person for filing a complaint.

The Council rejects the argument of the respondent that because there was no contravention of s. 8 of the Act, any compensation for the violation of s. 20 should be token. There was considerable merit to Ms. Bailey's allegation. She was subjected to severe stress because of her job situation and it is only because Brown treated males equally badly that her sexual harassment complaint failed. Section 20 is intended to protect not only those who are successful in their complaints but all those who choose to exercise their rights. The right is to complain, not to complain successfully.

The Council orders the Village of Anmore to compensate Glennis Bailey for her full wage loss and to pay her $2,000 as compensation for her humiliation.

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