WestJet loses appeal in proposed class-action lawsuit on harassment

Airline had argued the matter belongs before a human rights tribunal and workers’ compensation board

WestJet has lost an appeal of a court decision that refused to throw out a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing the airline of fostering a culture that tolerates harassment of female employees.

Former flight attendant Mandalena Lewis is suing over alleged gender-based discrimination, accusing her former employer of breaking its promise to provide a harassment-free workplace for women.

READ MORE: Former B.C. flight attendant protests sexual harassment outside YVR

A B.C. Supreme Court judge dismissed WestJet’s application to strike the legal action in 2017, rejecting the company’s argument that the dispute belongs before a human rights tribunal and workers’ compensation board.

The airline took its argument to the B.C. Court of Appeal and a three-judge panel ruled against it on Thursday, saying in a written decision that nothing in the relevant statutes removes the jurisdiction of the courts in this case.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and neither WestJet nor Lewis immediately responded to requests for comment on the decision.

The lawsuit proposes to represent all of WestJet’s past and current female flight attendants whose employment included a so-called anti-harassment promise, but the case has yet to be approved as a class-action.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Archived stories and photos from past years hosted on this website

Red Deer Express closed its doors March 27 - current local news, sports, entertainment and community stories still available through the Red Deer Advocate daily newspaper

B.C. prepared if Alberta shuts off fuel supplies, David Eby says

If B.C. continues pipeline battle, ‘we’ll finish it,’ Alberta’s Jason Kenney vows

Most Read