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Local lawyer suggests harassed police officer go to human rights commission

(Calgary Police Service)

A Calgary lawyer who specializes in workplace harassment and discrimination says a veteran member of the police service, who resigned in front of the police board, should consider taking her case to the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

In tears, Jen Magnus Ward spoke to the Calgary Police Commission Tuesday about the bullying and sexual harassment by other officers she has endured for years.

Jarret Janis from Taylor Janis LLP says Magnus Ward did the right thing by going to a supervisor first.

“If the employee becomes aware of the fact that nothing, no steps are being taken to address the issue by management or by somebody in authority, then the next step is to start looking at other options,” he said. “That may include, particularly in this case, going outside the organization, or a regulatory body.”

He also suggests the Calgary Police Association has an obligation to represent the interests of their members and may have failed in this case.

Janis says his law office has seen a sharp increase in inquiries from people who have been bullied or intimidated at work, and have reached their wits’ end.

He adds, while the NDP government is looking at ways to help people in such cases, there is currently no legislation that properly addresses the problem.