The extended claim period closed on May 22, 2018. During the claims period we received thousands of requests for information. We created our initial FAQs based on your questions and we thank you for having contributed in this way to our website.

Many of the questions and answers developed prior to end of the claim period are now out of date. We have collected these FAQs in this archival section to ensure that claimants have ongoing access to them.

Questions regarding the extended claims deadline – May 22, 2018 at midnight Pacific Time

Any primary class member who opened an online account via the Merlo Davidson website on or before February 8, 2018, benefits from the extended deadline.

Any primary class member that retained class counsel or wrote to class counsel to signal her intention to submit a claim on or before February 8, 2018 benefits from the extended deadline.

Primary class members who benefit from the extended deadline have until midnight Pacific Time to submit their claim electronically. Paper claims must be received before 5 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) on May 22, 2018 in the Office of the Independent Assessor.

Yes, if you are a primary class member, you may still file a claim; however, you must seek an extension at the same time.

The Assessor will consider whether the circumstances that prevented you from submitting your claim by February 8, 2018, justify granting you an extension. If he does not grant the extension, your claim will not be assessed.

Please note that along with your Request for Extension form you must include a completed Claim Form, a Certification of No Prior Compensation Form, government issued photo identification, and all supporting documents.

Claims may be sent by courier and may be completed or uploaded via a secure online account created on the Merlo Davidson webpage.

You must include a completed Claim Form, a Certification of No Prior Compensation Form, government issued photo identification, and all supporting documents.

No. Claims must be received by the Office of the Independent Assessor on or before May 22, 2018.

No. There is no provision in the Settlement Agreement for extensions beyond May 22, 2018.

No. Our office is closed on this statutory holiday but will be open on May 22, 2018.

We will close at 5 p.m. (Eastern daylight time) on May 22, 2018.

We are expecting a high volume of files to be sent in the final days of the extended claims period.

Please allow 2-3 weeks to receive a notice of receipt if you are filing your claim in paper format. Please keep a copy of any delivery receipt that you obtain from your delivery service.

If you submit your claim online, you should receive an email confirming receipt and providing a file number. Please check your spam folder if you do not receive such an email before contacting us.

Questions regarding the deadlines and the Claim form

You should submit any documents that support your claim, including, employment records, medical reports, grievance documents, relevant emails, etc.

If you do not have any supporting documents, you may still make a claim. Describe the incidents in as much detail as possible.

The Assessor does not conduct investigations. His assessments are based on the information provided by the claimant. He does have the authority to seek information where he deems it necessary to determine a claim. The Assessor will not seek information about a claimant without informing the claimant and giving her an opportunity to provide the missing information, or to choose to have the claim evaluated without the information.

The online system is case sensitive. Please ensure that you are using the email that you entered at the outset, with the same letters capitalized or in lower case. If that does not work, please contact our office via: info@merlodavidson.ca

The online system is case sensitive. Please ensure that you are using the password in the same configuration(same letters capitalized or in lower case) that you entered at the outset. If this is not the problem and the password reset function is not working, please contact our office via: info@merlodavidson.ca

To ensure that your claim is complete please verify that you have included:

  • A completed claim form including a witnessed Declaration AND a witnessed Authorization and Direction to Disclose Information;
  • A completed and witnessed Certification of No Prior Compensation;
  • A copy of government issued photo identification;

If one or more of these documents are missing, our office will contact you to obtain them. This will slow down the assessment of your file.

All of these documents may be completed using the online system or signed by hand and then uploaded on the online system.

 

The claim forms for children will be given to a claimant by the Independent Assessor if he decides that a claim falls within level 5 or 6. The child will then have 60 days to apply for compensation.

Please indicate the name of any police force or investigative body involved in any investigation or prosecution related to the incidents you describe in your claim form. If this is not applicable in your case simply mark “not applicable” in the space provided.

Any adult who knows you may witness your claim forms. They do not need to read the forms; they must witness your agreement and/or signature. A relative may serve as a witness.

You may also have a notary public or commissioner of oaths in your province or territory witness the forms for you, but you are not required to do so.

To upload documents you must create an online user account and set a password. You may upload documents using the Upload button on the left hand side of the screen in the green menu bar. There is a limit of 20 MB per document.

You may upload a scanned version of your claim form by creating an online account and selecting the appropriate button.

Claimants who have filled out and submitted their Claim Form can now print and save it for their records. Press the PRINT button.

Yes. You may log in at any time to review your claim form if you want to revise or change your answers. However it will be locked once you have submitted it.

Questions regarding the extensions

Yes, the Court Order maintains the requirements of the Settlement Agreement for those who do not signal an intention to file a claim on or before February 8, 2018.  The Agreement allows the Independent Assessor to grant extensions in the 100 days following the claims deadline (February 9, 2018 to May 22, 2018). However, extensions will only be granted on the basis of exceptional circumstances and only if a completed claim form is submitted along with the request for an extension.

You may request an extension between February 9, 2018 and May 21, 2018.

To make a request for an extension you must complete a Request for Extension form (available on our website), set out the reasons for the request that demonstrate exceptional circumstances, and attach a completed claim form along with all supporting documentation.

The Independent Assessor will review each request for an extension and will make a decision based on the information provided by the applicant.

Questions regarding the decisions rendered

The Settlement Agreement gives claimants, who have been assessed at Level 2, 30 days to seek reconsideration of the assessment of their claim.

The Assessor’s office cannot issue a cheque until either those 30 days have passed or any request for reconsideration has been resolved.

Claimants who do not wish to request reconsideration may shorten the 30-day period by completing and returning the waiver attached to the Level 2 letter (either by mail or by uploading the form to their account on the Assessor’s secure online site, use of email is not recommended as emails are not encrypted).

You will receive your cheque as soon as possible, but no later than 60-days from the receipt of your waiver.

General questions

The Merlo Davidson Class Action concerns all women working or having worked at the RCMP after September 16,1974 who may been subjected to discrimination, intimidation or harassment based on their gender or sexual orientation in the course of their employment with the RCMP.

This includes regular members, civilian members or employees of the public service working or having worked for the RCMP. For the purposes of the Settlement Regular Member includes Regular Members, Special Constables, Cadets, Auxiliary Constables, Special Constable Members and Reserve Members, and Public Service Employee includes Temporary Civilian Employees.

If you are unsure about whether you fall within the scope of the class or whether what you have experienced is harassment or discrimination, please consult the Proposed Settlement Agreement. Both Primary Class Member and harassment are defined in section 1.01.

If you still have questions about whether you are eligible to make a claim you may consult a lawyer. The class action counsel in the Merlo Davidson class action are: Klein Lawyers and Kim Orr Barristers PC. It is important to note that you need not contact class counsel; you are free to consult a lawyer of your choice.

The Office of the Independent Assessor cannot provide potential claimants with legal advice on their eligibility.

No. Anyone who is eligible to participate in the Class Action and has experienced harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace by RCMP members or employees may make a claim for compensation under the Settlement Agreement, after it is approved by the Federal Court, unless they opt-out of the Class Action.

Yes. Receipt of a pension, including a disability pension, does not preclude you from making a claim for compensation under the proposed Settlement Agreement. This includes a disability pension from Veterans Affairs Canada.

In summary, harassment is defined as conduct in the workplace by any male or female RCMP member or employee that is knowingly directed at another RCMP member or employee with the intention of causing offence or harm. Examples include: acts, comments or displays that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment to the individual. It also includes bullying and any act of intimidation or threat.

It also includes harassment as set out in the Canadian Human Rights Act based on sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and/or family status.

Harassment can be a series of incidents but can also be one severe incident which has a lasting impact on the individual, for example, physical or sexual assault.

The full definition of what harassment means under the Proposed Settlement Agreement can be found in the definition section of the Agreement.

No. A claimant need only make one application for compensation. All incidents of harassment and/or discrimination will be identified on one claim form and will be considered globally by the Independent Assessor when evaluating the claim.

No. Each claimant must apply individually for compensation. Others who experienced the same events may be listed as witnesses on the claim form.

No. Harassment by members of the public does not fall within the definition of harassment for the purposes of the Settlement Agreement.

The full definition of what harassment means under the proposed Settlement Agreement can be found in the definition section of the Agreement.

No. You cannot make a claim for an incident for which you have already been compensated. As part of the application process, all claimants will have to complete a form certifying they have not received compensation for the same events.

No. To apply for compensation under the proposed Settlement Agreement the claimant must be female. For more detail on the definition of the class and other terms of the proposed Settlement Agreement, please refer to the text of the Agreement.

Yes.

The Merlo Davidson Class Action concerns all women working or having worked in the RCMP after September 16, 1974 and who may have been subjected to discrimination, intimidation or harassment based on gender or sexual orientation as part of their employment in the RCMP.

This includes regular members of the RCMP, civilian members or public service employees working or having worked for the RCMP, For the purposes of the Settlement Regular Member includes Regular Members, Special Constables, Cadets, Auxiliary Constables, Special Constable Members and Reserve Members, and Public Service Employee includes Temporary Civilian Employees.

For claims evaluated at Level 5 or Level 6, certain family members can be eligible for compensation. This includes members who are designated as part of the family by the principal Claimant and who meet the definition by virtue of the Law of the Family applicable under these circumstances.

If your claim is assessed at level 5 or 6, (the more severe levels) your child may apply for compensation under the Settlement Agreement. A “child” includes your natural or adopted child. A more detailed definition of “child” is found in the Settlement Agreement (clause 1.01).

The claim forms for children will be given to a claimant by the Independent Assessor if he decides that a claim falls within level 5 or 6. The child will then have 60 days to apply for compensation.

If you did not opt-out, and you are an eligible primary class member, you may participate in the claims process by completing a claim form online or in hard copy and returning it to the Office of the Independent Assessor during the claim period (August 12, 2017 to February 8, 2018).

The forms required to make a claim will be available in the The Forms section as of August 12, 2017. You will also be able to fill the claim form online via a secure server directly to the Office of the Independent Assessor or you may mail them directly to the Independent Assessor. We can also send you the forms by mail if you request that we do so.

You should gather any documentation that supports your claim.

The proposed Settlement Agreement identifies the following as potentially relevant: documents that may confirm the details of the harassment you experienced, that confirm the injuries or harm you experienced (like physical or psychological medical records), your personnel file, files from any RCMP complaint or grievance, and any documents about your efforts to recover from your injuries or losses and the responses if any.

This list is not intended to identify all relevant documents. You may know of other documents relevant to your claim that you may gather. You should provide as much information as possible. Our Office will contact you if anything further is required during the claim assessment process.

There are several options available to you to gather documentation in support of your claim.

You may request to view your RCMP Personnel and Service file. You may make copies of any document on your file. A Career Development and Resourcing Advisor must be present when you view your file. Personnel and Service hardcopy files are held in the Divisional Headquarters Records Office where the member works. There is also a copy of the member Personnel and Service file located at the RCMP National Headquarters Records Office in Ottawa.

If the Independent Assessor requires additional information about a claim from the RCMP, e.g. personnel files or grievance records, he may make a request to a designated contact within the RCMP whose function is to collect the documents in a manner that protects the privacy of claimants.

You may also use the Privacy Act and/or the Access to Information Act to request information from the RCMP or from any government institution that may hold records relevant to your claim. This can be a lengthy process and you may wish to make informal requests for information as well.

Yes. You will provide information about your experiences in the Claim form. The Office of the Assessor can request necessary documentation from the RCMP through a procedure designed to ensure the claimant’s identity remains confidential.

The compensation amounts must conform to the evaluation grid established by the parties to the agreement. This grid six levels of gravity: minimal, mild, low moderate, upper moderate, significant and severe.

The Independent Assessor will complete a preliminary analysis of each of the Claims and will provisionally place each case in one of the six categories established by the parties to the agreement. Claims of level 1 and 2 will be evaluated based on the documentary proof provided by the Claimants. If the Assessor determines that the case corresponds to one of the levels 3 to 6, he will proceed to an interview. The levels correspond to the gravity of the acts of harassment and the damage caused.

The amounts awarded are predetermined for each level. The Independent Assessor alone will determine the applicable level and his decision is final. However, it is possible for a Claimant in level 2 to have her case reconsidered, in exceptional cases, in order to be granted the right to an interview. During the interviews, should the Claimants feel the need for moral support, they may be accompanied by a friend or family member, but not by a lawyer. Except for the limited possibility of an appeal in level 2, the decisions of the Assessor are not subject to appeal.

The amount awarded to any claimant is subject to class counsel fees of 15 % plus applicable sales tax that have been approved by the Federal Court. the Federal Court. The counsel fee will be deducted from the total amount of compensation awarded to a complainant.

The entire process has been designed to respect complete confidentiality. The Independent Assessor is neither an employee of the RCMP nor of the Government of Canada. He is held to secrecy. Members of his team are not employees of the RCMP or the government either. No information on the Plaintiffs or their identity will be transmitted to the RCMP or the Government of Canada, except for audit purposes by auditors, in a manner ensuring confidentiality. The two means by which the forms can be submitted to the Independent Assessor have been designed to guarantee confidentiality.

If information about a claim is required from the RCMP (e.g. personnel files or grievance records), a specific process has been designed to protect the privacy of claimants. Payment of compensation will be administered directly by the Independent Assessor. There will be no public report in relation to any specific claim. All documentation in the possession of the Independent Assessor will be destroyed six months after the last claim is completed and payment is made.

No. The privacy of the claimant is paramount. The Independent Assessor will not contact witnesses or require them to provide a statement.

There will be no public testimony. Claimant confidentiality will be maintained at all times. The Independent Assessor will ask to meet with Plaintiffs privately for levels 3 to 6. These meetings are confidential.

If meetings with the Independent Assessor prove necessary, the Claimants can if they like be accompanied by a friend or family member, but not by a lawyer. If they must travel more than 50 kilometres from home, the costs of the claimant only will be reimbursed on a scale agreed to by the Government of Canada.

No. However, you may wish to consult a lawyer if you are uncertain as to whether you are entitled to make a claim under the terms of the Settlement Agreement. You may contact class counsel or any other lawyer of your choice.

For information about the claims process, on the progress of the class action or on where to obtain forms or how to fill out the claim form, you can consult the Office of the Independent Assessor confidentially at 1-844-348-0776 or at our website which will be updated regularly.

The forms have been designed to accommodate the testimony of Claimants. Retaining the services of a lawyer is not required. However, you can obtain the support of lawyers participating in the agreement, any lawyer of your choice or the personnel of the Office of the Independent Assessor.

You received the Notice of Certification and Settlement Approval Hearing because you have been identified as a potential class member in this class action (see: the definition of “primary class member” in Article 1.01 of the Definitions in the Settlement Agreement).

The Federal Court ordered the RCMP to provide the Independent Assessor with the contact information of all potential class members to ensure that they were informed of the certification of the class action and the upcoming settlement approval hearing.

A Notice of Settlement Approval will be sent to you in the second week of August. This will be the last communication to you, from the Office of the Independent Assessor, unless you choose to make a claim for compensation under the Settlement Agreement. Potential class members who opted out of the class action before March 29, 2017, will not receive this second notice.

Class counsel fees are paid to class counsel when a class member makes a successful claim and is awarded compensation by the Independent Assessor. The 15% class counsel fee, approved by the Court on May 30, 2017, will be deducted at source from the claim. If you do not make a claim, or if your claim is not successful, you do not have to pay any class counsel fee.

There is no fee to make a claim to the Assessor.

If you choose to retain class counsel, or any other lawyer, to assist you in making your specific claim for compensation to the Assessor, the lawyer you retain will negotiate a fee in a retainer agreement. This fee is in addition to the class counsel fees of 15% awarded by the Court.

Please do not hesitate to address requests for information to the personnel of the Office of the Independent Assessor either by telephone at 1-844-348-0776 or by email at info@merlodavidson.ca.