Settled Class Action

November 19, 2020 – Final Report on the Implementation of the Merlo Davidson Settlement Agreement (English)

November 19, 2020 – Final Report on the Implementation of the Merlo Davidson Settlement Agreement (French)

May 30, 2017Federal Court Settlement Approval – Order and Reasons

February 7, 2018 – Court Order Extending Time to File Completed Claims to May 22, 2018

A settlement has been reached in the RCMP Gender-Based Harassment and Discrimination Class Action.  The settlement agreement and schedules are set out below.  The settlement was approved by Madam Justice McDonald on May 30, 2017.

Justice McDonald has issued an Order extending the date by which Primary Class Members may file completed claims to May 22, 2018.  This order only applies to Primary Class Members who have opened an online file with the Office of the Assessor or have informed Class Counsel in writing (e.g. a signed retainer agreement or sent a letter or an email) on or before February 8, 2018 that they intend to file a claim under the RCMP Class Action Settlement.

David Klein and Representative Plaintiff, Janet Merlo, at the Ottawa news conference to announce the historic RCMP Class Action Settlement
“Janet Merlo and I at the Ottawa news conference announcing a settlement of the RCMP gender harassment class action. This historic settlement included an apology by the RCMP Commissioner (to my right), a host of change initiatives aimed at eliminating gender harassment and discrimination in the RCMP, and a compensation package with a total estimated value of over $100 million for women who suffered harassment or discrimination while working for the RCMP. It was a good day for current, former and future women in the RCMP. It was a good day for Canada.” – David Klein

Who is eligible to participate in the proposed settlement?

If you are a female, or identify as a female, and were or are an RCMP Member (includes Regular Members, Special Constables, Cadets, Auxiliary Constables, Special Constable Members, and Reserve Members), Civilian Member or Public Service Employee (includes Temporary Civilian Employees) working within the RCMP, you may be eligible to participate in this settlement.

What conduct is covered?

To be eligible for compensation, you must have been subjected to gender or sexual orientation based harassment while working for the RCMP during the Class Period. “Harassment” means improper conduct by any Regular Member, Special Constable, Cadet, Auxiliary Constable, Special Constable Member, Reserve Member, Civilian Member, Public Service Employee or Temporary Civilian Employee (collectively referred to as “member(s)”), male or female, that is directed at and offensive to another member in the workplace, including, but not limited to, at any event or any location related to work, and that the member knew or ought reasonably to have known would cause offence or harm. It comprises objectionable act(s) comment(s) or display(s) that demean, belittle, or cause personal humiliation or embarrassment, and any act of intimidation or threat. It also includes harassment within the meaning of the Canadian Human Rights Act, RSC 1985, c.H-6, based on sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and family status. Harassment can be a series of incidents but can also be one severe incident which has a lasting impact on the individual. Harassment by members of the public is not harassment for the purposes of the settlement agreement. In the settlement agreement, “Harassment” refers collectively to gender and sexual orientation based harassment, gender and sexual orientation based discrimination, and sexual assault, including physical assault in the course of conduct constituting harassment.

What time period applies?

The settlement covers harassment that occurred during the Class Period.  The Class Period is September 16, 1974 to the date the proposed settlement receives court approval.

How much time do I have to submit my claim?

Claims must be submitted within 180 days of the first publication of the Notice of Settlement Approval.  The Notice will be published after the settlement receives court approval.

Court Documents

How do I make a claim? Are the claims forms available in French?

If the proposed settlement receives court approval, then Notice of the Settlement Approval will be mailed to potential claimants and posted on our website. Class Members who wish to participate in the settlement will submit a confidential claim form describing their experiences, along with any documentation supporting their claim to an independent court-appointed Assessor, Justice Michel Bastarache, C.C., Q.C.
Claims forms in both English and French will be available once the settlement is approved.

I am receiving Veterans Affairs Canada (“VAC”) pension benefits. Can I apply for compensation?

Yes. A VAC pension is not considered “prior compensation” under the proposed settlement. Individuals receiving VAC pension benefits are eligible to apply for compensation under the settlement, and VAC pension benefits are not deducted from compensation payable under the settlement.

What are the major steps in a class action?

Each class action is unique but, in most cases, the major steps are as follows. The court will appoint a case management judge who is assigned to the lawsuit. This judge will oversee the case and hear the arguments made by lawyers for the parties. The lawyers will meet before the case management judge and set a schedule leading to the certification hearing. At the certification hearing, the court will permit, or “certify”, the case as a class action if several criteria are met as outlined in the Class Proceedings Act. A “representative plaintiff”, whose job is to fairly and adequately represent the interest of the “class”, will also be appointed. Once certified, the class action portion of the lawsuit begins. Certification is then followed by a “common issues” trial where issues common to all class members are tried before a judge. If the plaintiff is successful in a common issues trial, a process is designed to decide issues that are unique to each individual class member.

The parties may decide to negotiate a settlement of a class action at any time. Settlement negotiations are directed by the representative plaintiff. The public will be notified if a settlement agreement is reached. Settlement agreements in class actions must be approved by the court before they are considered final.

Appeals of class actions, especially certification decisions, are common. These appeals delay the class action for many months.

Does this lawsuit affect women outside British Columbia?

Yes. This lawsuit is brought on behalf of all female Members, Civilian Members and Public Service Employees of the RCMP, regardless of province of residence.

Does the lawsuit seek compensation for municipal police forces?

No. Although members and employees of municipal police forces may have legitimate claims against their employer, this lawsuit is restricted to women who are current or former Members, Civilian Members or Public Service Employees of the RCMP.

How long will the lawsuit take?

Class action lawsuits typically take many years to resolve.

What is a class action?

A class action is a lawsuit that groups people with a common claim together against the same defendant. Class action suits allow people whose voices might otherwise go unheard to fight together for a common interest. For more information on class action lawsuits, visit our Class Action FAQ page.

How can I join the lawsuit?

At this stage of the lawsuit there is no requirement to “join” or to make your name public.

If you are a woman who is a current or former Member, Civilian Member or Public Service Employee of the RCMP and you would like to confidentially add your name to receive our updates about the RCMP class action, please complete the online “Do I Qualify?” form.

No lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary relationship is created by communicating your name to receive updates about the RCMP class action.

An important step in a class action lawsuit is “certification.” After a certification hearing, the court will review the proposed class action and if it agrees it meets the legal test for certification, the court will permit, or “certify”, the lawsuit as a class action. At that time, a definition of who qualifies as a “class member” will be decided. It can take a matter of years to prepare for the certification hearing. Information regarding the dates of the certification hearing will be posted on this website and emailed to addresses on our email update list. The court will also set a date for class members to opt-into or out of the class action. Only after certification will class members formally join the lawsuit by registering with counsel.

Who is being sued in this lawsuit?

The governments of Canada and British Columbia are the defendants.

What is the lawsuit about?

This lawsuit alleges that female Members, Civilian Members and Public Service Employees of the RCMP were subject to gender-based discrimination, bullying and harassment and that the RCMP failed to exercise the duty to women in the RCMP to ensure that they could work in an environment free of gender-based discrimination, bullying and harassment.

I have already filed/I was going to file a grievance, lawsuit or claim. Should I continue with this?

You should seek qualified legal and professional advice with respect to your grievance, lawsuit or other claim. The RCMP class action lawsuit does not preclude you from continuing with a grievance, lawsuit or other claim. As the class action may take many years to conclude, we are unable to describe the definition of the “class” or any other information in relation to the resolution of the issues raised in the class action lawsuit.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive or detailed statement concerning your grievance, complaint or individual claim; legal or any other kind of advice. You should seek appropriate, qualified professional advice before acting or omitting to act based upon any information provided here.

Does the lawsuit seek compensation for men?

No. Although male Members, Civilian Members and Public Service Employees of the RCMP may have legitimate claims against the RCMP, this lawsuit is focused on discrimination against, bullying of, and harassment of women in the RCMP.

Final Report of The Honourable Michel Bastarache, C.C. Q.C., Independent Assessor released November 19, 2020 (English)

Final Report English

Final Report of The Honourable Michel Bastarache, C.C. Q.C., Independent Assessor released November 19, 2020 (French)

Final Report French

Settlement Documents (English)


SCHEDULE A – NOTICE PLAN [to be posted when available]









Settlement Documents (French)

Agrement de règlement


RCMP Updates

For information about the RCMP class action settlement and the most recent version of the claim forms, please visit and read the final report.

If you are interested in hiring a lawyer to assist you with a claim, contact the law firm of Kim, Spencer, McPhee.

In The News
Skill, Diligence, and Experience of Counsel

“The negotiations were conducted by plaintiffs’ counsel with experience in class proceedings.”

Sawatzky v. Société Chirurgicale Instrumentarium Inc., 1999 CanLII 6982 at para. 11

“I am satisfied it is apparent from the material, which is complicated, and, I might say very well organized...”

Fischer v. Delgratia Mining Corp, [1999] B.C.J. No. 3149 at para. 23

“Plaintiff’s counsel are senior members of the bar who have extensive experience in personal injury litigation and class actions..”

Knudsen (Guardian of) v. Consolidated Food Brands Inc., 2001 BCSC 1837 at para. 40

“Mr. Klein is experienced and able in relation to class proceedings. Over time he has acquired expertise that permits him to make a valuable contribution...”

Killough v. Canadian Red Cross Society, 2001 BCSC 1745 at para. 28

“The lead class counsel is experienced and has been recognized by the courts in approving settlements in other class actions.”

Fakhri v. Alfalfa’s Canada Inc., 2005 BCSC 1123 at para. 23

“Counsel for the plaintiffs in the various jurisdictions appear to be experienced in class proceedings, and to be recognized as skilled litigators.”

Jeffrey v. Nortel Networks Corp., 2007 BCSC 69 at para. 29

“…Plaintiff’s counsel retained the British Columbia law firm of Klein Lawyers to assist in the litigation. That firm has extensive experience...”

Rideout v. Health Labrador Corp, 2007 NLTD 150 at para. 156

“Klein Lawyers is a litigation firm focusing on class actions. The firm is based in Vancouver but also has a Toronto office.”

McSherry v. Zimmer GMBH, 2012 ONSC 4113 at para. 21

“The proposed Class Counsel have excellent qualifications…”

Parker v. Pfizer Canada Inc., 2012 ONSC 3681 at para. 130

“Mr. Klein of Klein Lawyers has over 20 years of experience in the field of class action litigation and has appeared as plaintiffs’ counsel in over 25 certified class actions...”

Stanway v. Wyeth Canada Inc., 2015 BCSC 983 at para. 39

“Class counsel, Klein Lawyers LLP and Kim Orr Barristers P.C., are highly experienced in class action litigation. Both firms have practiced in the specialized area of class action litigation for over 20 years”

Merlo v. R, 2017 FC 533 at para. 34

“British Columbia class counsel took on this case on a contingency basis, and faced a real risk of not being paid at all for their services.”

Jeffrey v. Nortel Networks Corp, 2007 BCSC 69 at para. 73

“Class counsel pursued this litigation to completion on their own rather than with a consortium of counsel from various provinces.”

Merlo v. R, 2017 FC 533 at para. 84

“Klein Lawyers has continuously posted updates about the case on its website during the litigation, and has posted the court decisions...”

Richard v. British Columbia, [2010] B.C.J. No. 1363 at para. 20

“There is little doubt that the lawyers of the firm expended a great deal of time in prosecuting the action, in negotiating a settlement...”

McSherry v. Zimmer GMBH, 2016 ONSC 4606 at para. 38

“…Class counsel undertook an extensive communication plan to advise potential class members of the proposed settlement and to advise them of the...”

Merlo v. R, 2017 FC 533 at para. 12
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