WestJet hit by harassment allegation - again

by |
A former flight attendant for one of Canada’s most iconic airlines has launched her second lawsuit against the carrier, claiming unfair treatment and widespread workplace harassment.

Vancouver-based Mandalena Lewis is already embroiled in a legal battle with WestJet over claims the company failed to act properly when she reported being sexually assaulted by a pilot. Now, it seems the company may have multiple employees to contend with.

Yesterday, Lewis submitted a notice of claim in British Columbia Supreme Court, asking that a second case be granted class-action status on behalf of all WestJet female flight attendants.

She said that, since going public with her complaint, former colleagues had begun sharing their own stories of sexual harassment at the Calgary-based carrier.

"The common denominator was definitely fear,” Lewis said in an interview. “They were afraid to say anything for fear of losing their jobs, which is really sad and just shows there's a bigger problem that needs to be addressed.”

The notice of claim alleges WestJet encourages women to remain silent about harassment or risk discipline. It also describes the company’s actions as "high-handed, malicious, arbitrary and highly reprehensible."

“It's 2016 and we are still facing a huge injustice in our workplace environment,” stressed Lewis. “To say that WestJet has failed to create and maintain a safe work environment is incredibly accurate."
 
More like this:

How to respectfully fire someone 

“Think before you write,” warns top lawyer 

Boeing to cut at least 4,000 jobs 
 
  • Jeannie McQuaid on 2016-04-05 9:03:54 AM

    "remain silent about harassment or risk discipline". Sounds like it came straight out of Brandon University's "Behavioral Contract", also in today's news.

    This will only stop when organizations realize that holding the perpetrators of sexual harassment/assault responsible for their actions doesn't tarnish their public image, it improves it. C'mon, it's 2016 already.

  • Herry on 2016-04-05 1:38:38 PM

    Whaddaya know, ANOTHER do-nothing ceo. The POS should be forced out. But, then again, NOTHING will happen. Again !

  • Jan on 2016-04-06 12:59:43 AM

    It's easy to point fingers at a big organization as being the 'bad guy.' There have been plenty of false claims by people seeking revenge for their own actions. How do we know Ms. Lewis is everything she claims? I'm aware of a number of court cases where false claims were made for various reasons. Let's not speculate on this and let the courts decide based on the evidence presented.

HRM Online forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions