Alberta’s Opposition house leader said he regrets firing a female employee after she informed him she was being sexually harassed. Jason Nixon added that his caucus is committed to ending harassment in the workplace.
“The United Conservative party caucus and myself take harassment at the workplace seriously,'' Nixon told the house Tuesday.
“I deeply regret some of the decisions that were made by myself and my organization while handling that human resources issue.''
The announcement comes after A British Columbian human rights tribunal rules that Nixon had wrongly fired Kori Harrison after she complained she was being sexually harassed, in 2008.
“We were very, very disappointed at what happened to Ms. Harrison. It was not right then, and it is not right now,'' Nixon said.
Harrison said one of the managers began touching her on the shoulders, slapping her buttocks, asking her to lower the blinds and view pornography on his work computer. She said this behaviour left her in tears at the end of the workday.
After bringing up the issue, she was fired.
“Ms. Harrison was stunned and upset,'' said the tribunal report. “She called Mr. Nixon who she says told her repeatedly it was not his decision to let her go.'
“Mr. Nixon told her that (the client) wanted her out.''
The issue was brought up, after Nixon stood in the house days ago to voice concerns he had with a bill forwarded by the NDP government, which would toughen rules to end workplace harassment.
“I think the house leader needs to carefully consider his role in the house and the message the UCP is sending to women,'' Premier Rachel Notley said in the house.
“Instead of defending a woman who complained to him about sexual harassment, two days later he fired her.''
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