Understanding the RCMP Female Non-Policing Settlement
Klein Lawyers is proud of its class action lawsuits to hold the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) accountable for gender and sexual orientation discrimination. For decades, female employees have been subject to discrimination and sexual harassment. This includes female officers of the RCMP as well as administrative workers, volunteers, and others in non-policing roles.
In the latest victory in this case, a federal judge approved a settlement agreement of $100 million to compensate female non-policing workers and volunteers of the RCMP who suffered sexual harassment or discrimination. The settlement covers misconduct over a 45-year period.
With the terms of the settlement approved, eligible members of the class will soon be able to submit claims for compensation. Below we will review who is eligible for compensation, the claims process, and what happens next. If you have immediate questions about your eligibility and the terms of the settlement, please don’t hesitate to contact Klein Lawyers today.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation in the RCMP Non-Policing Settlement?
Eligibility for compensation in any class action lawsuit rests on whether or not you are part of the class. Class action settlements include terms identifying who qualifies for the class and who qualifies for compensation.
In the RCMP non-policing settlement, you are eligible to submit a claim if:
- You are biologically female; or you identify as female
- You worked in a non-policing role or volunteered at the RCMP between September 16, 1974, and July 5, 2019; AND
- You suffered sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination, or other gender-based misconduct
In the context of the agreement, non-policing roles encompass a wide range of positions and employment arrangements with RCMP. These include administrative and municipal workers, contract employees, consultants, and non-profit workers who provide services in conjunction with the RCMP – to name only a few.
Under the terms of the settlement, volunteers may include members of volunteer patrols and search-and-rescue teams, as well as students who volunteer with the RCMP.
What Compensation Is Available?
Claimants are eligible for compensation ranging from $10,000 to $240,000. The amount awarded depends upon the nature and severity of the misconduct and the impact on the victim.
Assessors in the case will review claims and determine the amount of compensation due to eligible complainants according to a scale of six different levels developed as part of the settlement agreement:
- Level 1: Includes misconduct such as sexualized comments and questions, jokes, and bullying, as well as exhibitionism
- Level 2: Includes kissing, touching, persistent sexual or romantic communication, and physical aggressiveness
- Level 3: Includes gendered insults, degrading comments, intimidation, indecent exposure, sexual advances (including forceful touching and kissing), and reprisals in the workplace
- Level 4: Includes harassment, touching victim’s genitalia, and forcing oneself on victim
- Level 5: Includes abuse of rank and power (ex: assigning victims to tasks below their qualifications, skills, and training), creating a hostile work environment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and interpersonal issues, and forcing non-penetrative sex acts
- Level 6: Includes forced engagement in penetrative sex, isolation from other employees and volunteers, and ongoing harassment and abuse
The claims process is confidential. However, it is important to note that claims determined to correspond to Level 3 or higher will require an interview with an assessor. Level 1 and Level 2 claims are determined solely through evaluation of the claim form (see below).
How Do I File a Claim?
In the female RCMP non-policing class action case, class members have from May 10, 2020, to November 5, 2020, approximately 180 days, to file a claim. However, as the claim form is long and complex, it is very important to file your claim early in the process to ensure it is completed on time. To get started, read the directions carefully and complete the claim form.
It is important to contact Klein Lawyers as soon as possible for legal help in completing the claims form.
The claim form includes a number of sections requesting a wide range of information:
- Personal Information, including:
- Your role and position in the RCMP
- Your name, mailing address, and contact information
- Contact information for your lawyer, if you have representation
- Claimant Eligibility, including where you worked, start and end date, position, and detachment size
- Prior grievances, workers’ compensation claims, or legal action for harassment or discrimination
- Information Related to the Gender or Sexual Harassment-Based Harassment and Discrimination, including:
- Incident of harassment, approximate dates (month and year), where the harassment occurred, and the name, title, and position of the person who harassed you
- Questions on whether or not you reported the harassment or discrimination, and if any legal proceedings arose as a result
- Detailed narratives of each incident
- The effect on your life
- Aggravating factors, such as verbal abuse, degradation, and threats
- Problems you are still experiencing as a result of the harassment or discrimination
- Treatment, including:
- Injury or type of condition for which you sought treatment, the type of treatment you received, when you received the treatment, the name of the treatment provider, and the location where you underwent treatment
- Preexisting conditions (i.e., did harassment or assault aggravate a previous injury or condition)
- Other Information About You, including past instances of physical, emotional, or sexual harassment
- Education and Work History
- Effects of Gender or Sexual Orientation-Based Harassment and Discrimination on Your Employment and Career, including:
- How you believe discrimination or harassment impacted your training, employment, or ability to work
- Your employment status (unemployed or underemployed), whether you are facing financial difficulty, and whether you have ever filed bankruptcy
- Your future work and education plans
- Payments for lost income, including the dates of payment, the amount, and the reason for payment
In addition to the claim form, you must also sign, date, and provide your Health Card Number on a form labeled “Authorization and Direction to Release Information.” This form authorizes the release of employment records, medical records, and other reports that assessors may evaluate as part of the claims process.
Needless to say, the claim form asks you to share information of a personal, private, and potentially painful nature. It is important to share the full details of your experience, but take the time you need to complete the form without feeling triggered or overwhelmed.
What Happens After I Submit My Claim?
After your claim is submitted, it will be reviewed by the administrator and assessors to verify your eligibility as part of the class and that your documents are complete. You may receive subsequent communication from individuals involved in the claims process, including a request to be interviewed.
If the assessor determines that your injuries qualify as a Level 2 claim (see above) but you believe it ought to be considered according to Level 3 or higher, you can file a Request for Reconsideration within 30 days of the notice of decision. Unfortunately, this is the only situation in which claimants may appeal the assessor’s decision; all other decisions, including denial of claims, are “final and binding” under the terms of the class action settlement.
In the event that a decision is rendered in your favor, you will receive compensation 60 days after the date the assessor renders the decision.
How Klein Lawyers Can Help
Class action law is complex, and the emotionally fraught circumstances surrounding harassment and discrimination in the RCMP might make it difficult for survivors to know what they should do next. Whether you have questions about your eligibility for the class, how the claims process works, and more, Klein Lawyers is ready to assist you.
We have extensive, hands-on experience in the RCMP class action litigation, and can provide knowledgeable guidance to all women who survived gender-based harassment, abuse, or assault during their time with the RCMP. We are passionate about achieving justice for victims, and we are proud to support you should you decide to seek compensation.
Contact Klein Lawyers Today
We are actively working with class members to submit claims for compensation. We have offices in Vancouver and Toronto, and serve clients throughout Canada.
We work on contingency fees, which means you do not pay any legal fees unless you are awarded compensation.
For a free consultation, please call (604) 874-7171 today. You can also contact us online to get started.