RCMP faces class-action lawsuit by former Mountie
Published Tuesday, March 27, 2012 3:45PM EDT
As many as 150 former and current female RCMP officers are ready to stand behind a class-action lawsuit that alleges widespread sexual harassment within the police force.
The suit, filed in B.C. Supreme Court on behalf of Janet Merlo, an RCMP constable with 19 years experience, alleges a systematic pattern of sexual discrimination, bullying and harassment.
Merlo alleges she was singled out for verbal abuse and pranks, which included a supervisor who used naked inflatable female doll and sex toys found in evidence.
Merlo alleges she was also told to do "housework" as it was "men that do the real work" in the RCMP.
One of the lawyers involved in the case said as many as 150 women expressed interest in joining the class-action lawsuit.
David Klein, one of the lawyers for Merlo, said a primary goal is to change the RCMP from a toxic work environment for women to one that is welcoming.
A judge will need to decide if there are enough common arguments in the class-action suit for it to move forward, a process that could take up to two years.