RCMP Gender Harassment and Discrimination Class Action

Officially published on January 28th, 2017

If you are a female or identified as a female and were an RCMP Regular Member (for purposes of this Proposed Settlement includes Regular Members, Special Constables, Cadets, Auxiliary Constables, Special Constable Members, and Reserve Members), Civilian Member or Public Service Employee (for purposes of this Proposed Settlement includes Temporary Civilian Employees) working within the RCMP, this notice may affect your legal rights.  Please read it carefully.

Class action lawsuits were initiated alleging gender based harassment and discrimination within the RCMP. The Defendants, while not admitting liability, have agreed to a settlement of these lawsuits. A federal court class action has been certified on consent, conditional on court approval of the settlement.

Who is Eligible for the Proposed Settlement?

To be eligible to participate in the settlement, you must be a member of the class. The class is defined as:

Primary Class Members:  female current and former living Regular Members, Civilian Members and Public Service Employees (who are appointed by the Commissioner of the RCMP under the delegated authority of the Public Service Commission pursuant to the Public Service Employment Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. P-32; amended S.C. 2003, c. 22, ss.12, 13) who worked within the RCMP during the Class Period who experienced and/or continue to experience gender and sexual orientation based harassment and discrimination while working in the RCMP during the Class Period, and who have not opted out or are not deemed to have opted out of the Class Action on or before the expiry of the Opt Out Period.

For the purposes of this Agreement “Regular Members” includes Regular Members, Special Constables, Cadets, Auxiliary Constables, Special Constable Members, and Reserve Members

For the purposes of this Agreement “Public Service Employees” includes Temporary Civilian Employees who, prior to 2014 were appointed under the now-repealed subsection 10(2) of the RCMP Act, R.S.C., 1985, c. R-10;

Secondary Class Members:  All persons who have a derivative claim in accordance with applicable family law legislation arising from a family relationship with a member of the Primary Class.

If you do not wish to participate in the class action, you must deliver a signed Opt-Out Form to Class Counsel received or postmarked no later than March 29, 2017. If you do not exclude yourself by that date, you will be included in this lawsuit and will be bound by the court’s judgement on the settlement. The Opt-Out Form can be obtained from Class Counsel at the address below. It is also available on Class Counsel’s websites.

If you have an ongoing lawsuit with respect to gender or sexual orientation based harassment or discrimination in the RCMP, and you wish to participate in the proposed class action settlement, you must discontinue your lawsuit before March 29, 2017. If you do not, you will be deemed by s. 334.21(2) of the Federal Court Rules, SOR/98-106 to have opted out of the class action. Please contact your lawyer to discuss your options.

The Terms of the Proposed Settlement

The settlement contains numerous change initiatives directed at eliminating workplace harassment and discrimination in the RCMP. The settlement also provides compensation for members of the Primary Class who experienced gender or sexual orientation based harassment or discrimination while working in the RCMP during the Class Period. Compensation is available for Secondary Class Members where the Primary Class Member’s Claim is assessed at either of the two highest severity levels.

You can obtain a copy of the settlement agreement and the applicable schedules by contacting Class Counsel at the address below. These documents are also available on Class Counsel’s websites.

The Approval Hearing and Your Right to Participate

A motion to approve the settlement is scheduled to be heard on May 24, 2017 at 9:30 am at the Federal Court of Canada, Trial Division, in Toronto. Class Counsel will also ask the court to approve an award of fees and disbursements for their work in achieving the settlement.

If you agree with the proposed settlement, you do not have to do anything at this time. If the court approves the settlement, a notice will be published setting out the procedures for submitting a Claim.

If you disagree with the proposed settlement, you have the right to object. You may do so by delivering a letter to Class Counsel in advance of the hearing, which Class Counsel will then provide to the court. In your letter, you should provide your name, contact information, and a brief statement of the nature and reasons for your objection.

What are the Financial Consequences?

If the settlement is approved by the court and you have not opted out of the class action prior to the opt-out deadline, you will be bound by the terms of the settlement.

The defendants have agreed to pay Class Counsel’s disbursements and are making a contribution toward class counsel fees. Class Counsel will request a further class counsel fee of 15% plus applicable sales tax payable from the compensation awarded to class members under the settlement. The award of class counsel fees is subject to court approval.

For more information

For more information about the settlement, contact Class Counsel at:

Klein Lawyers LLP
Attn: Whitney Santos
Suite 400-1385 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6H 3V9
Phone: (604) 714-6159
Fax: (604) 874-7180

wsantos@callkleinlawyers.com

www.callkleinlawyers.com

Kim Orr Barristers P.C.
Attn: Megan B. McPhee
19 Mercer Street, Suite 400
Toronto, ON M5V 1H2
Phone: (416) 349-6574
Fax: (416) 598-0601

mbm@kimorr.ca

www.kimorr.ca