Canada: Supreme Court won't hear WestJet appeal in harassment case - PressFrom - Canada

CanadaSupreme Court won't hear WestJet appeal in harassment case

17:50  18 july  2019
17:50  18 july  2019 Source:

WestJet sued over failed attempt to store overhead luggage

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Supreme Court won't hear WestJet appeal in harassment case © Provided by The tail of a WestJet plane is seen dwarfing the Calgary skyline before the airline's annual meeting in Calgary, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

OTTAWA — WestJet Airlines has lost a legal bid to put an end to a proposed class-action harassment lawsuit.

The Supreme Court of Canada refused today to hear WestJet's arguments to quash the suit launched by a former flight attendant.

Mandalena Lewis alleges she was sexually assaulted by a pilot while on a stopover in Hawaii in 2010 and that the airline breached its anti-harassment promise in her contract.

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Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid 'frat boy culture' in airline industry Mandalena Lewis was enjoying a layover in Hawaii with her WestJet co-workers the night she says a pilot pinned her down and tried to force her to have sex. "I escaped being raped, but I was sexually assaulted," the former flight attendant said. A warm Sunday evening on the sands of Maui's Makena Beach Resort in January 2010 had led to a group dinner and then an invitation from the pilot to have drinks on his balcony, which she accepted. Once in the room, he "dragged her onto the bed, kissing her and groping her" as she "physically resisted the assault and yelled for him to stop," according to Lewis's 2016 lawsuit against WestJet, filed in B.C. Supreme Court.

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The Supreme Court today refused to consider whether there is a constitutional right to assisted suicide and whether someone who helps another person commit suicide can be prosecuted for murder. The Justices made no comment in refusing to hear the appeals , and their refusal does not set a precedent.

Her lawsuit proposes to represent all current and former female WestJet flight attendants whose employment contracts included the airline's pledge.

The airline failed in the B.C. courts to scuttle the action, prompting it to argue the Supreme Court could provide clarity on whether a court or the Canadian Human Rights Commission is the proper forum for systemic sexual harassment allegations.

Following its usual practice, the high court gave no reasons for refusing to hear the case.

The Canadian Press

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