CLASS ACTIONS, EMPLOYMENT CONTRACTS & REMEDYING HOSTILE WORKPLACES
LEWIS V WESTJET AIRLINES LTD, 2022 BCCA 145
Several class actions have been filed in recent years regarding alleged workplace bullying and harassment. These actions typically seek a global award of compensatory damages. The Lewis v WestJet class action is novel in that it seeks disgorgement of monies saved by the employer in failing to adhere to its contractual obligation to maintain a safe and healthy workplace, free of harassment and bullying. If this action succeeds, it could significantly change the current legal landscape by delineating a separate gains-based remedy for victims of workplace bullying and harassment, as well as providing a remedy for employees who never were individually bullied or harassed, but were nonetheless denied a contractually guaranteed harassment-free workplace.
Keywords:Employment Contract, Bullying and Harassment in the Workplace, Class Action, Preferable Procedure, Human Rights Complaint versus Class Proceeding, Failure to Enforce Anti-Harassment Promise, Breach of Contract, Remedies, Disgorgement of Employer’s Cost Savings, Remedying Hostile Workplace, Disgorgement Remedy, Preferability of Civil Action versus Human Rights Complaint
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