WestJet has lost a bid to have the Supreme Court of British Columbia throw out a proposed class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of failing to provide a harassment-free workplace for female employees.
The airline argued last month that the courts were an inappropriate venue for the complaint, which it said would be better addressed through a workers’ compensation board or human rights tribunal.
Former flight attendant Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination, accusing her former employer of fostering a corporate culture that tolerates harassment against female workers.
#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t
VIDEO: ‘This isn’t a new problem’: Survivors, allies host #MeToo rally in Vancouver
Justice Mary Humphries says in her decision that the core of the lawsuit deals with a breach of contract, making the courts the appropriate venue for the legal action.
Humphries also dismissed WestJet’s argument that the claim is bound to fail and therefore amounts to an abuse of process.
The allegations have not been proven in court, and no one from Westjet was immediately available for comment.
The Canadian Press