Human Rights Damage Awards

Tribunal Awards – Canada

Tribunal Awards Canada

Case Year Summary  Award 
General Considerations     There is a legislated cap on the sum to be awarded for compensatory damages of $20,000. The Act also allows for a further order up to $20,000 as “special damages” where the conduct is “wilful and reckless”, which sexual harassment conduct is routinely considered to be. The amendments allowing these two forms of awards came into effect in June of 1998. All awards prior to this date should be read with this qualifier in mind.
Berberi v Canada. Further issues arose which are not relevant to this issue, as noted in a subsequent hearing before the tribunal and the Federal Court, Trial Division. 2009   Awards in the range of $12,000 to $15,000 are reserved for "the most egregious discriminatory acts".
Cassidy v Canada Post 2012 A single issue, albeit with a physical altercation of a "brief duration". Compensatory award of $5,000, special damages of $2,500. Additional damages were also awarded for retaliatory conduct in the sum of $2,000 plus a further $500 as "special compensation".
Woiden v Lynn   Vulgar and offensive remarks and propositions made by the personal respondent. One of the complaints was based on family status. Each of three complainants were awarded $10,000 as "special compensation".
Bushey v Sharma 2003 Severe and repeated contact, inside and outside the workplace, causing fear for the complainant's well-being and unwanted physical contact on one occasion. $12,000 compensatory and $15,000 of "special compensation". This award was made against the personal respondent and was found to be solely attributable to his offensive actions as a separate undisclosed sum had been paid by the employer.
Goodwin v Birkett 2004 The respondent was found naked on her bed touching her in sexual manner. Awards of $2,500 and $2,500 for "special compensation". This was the quantum of the relief sought by the complainant
Naistus v. Chief 2009 Personal respondent was sexually obsessed with the complainant over a two year period, was humiliated resulting in anxiety and depression causing the need for an emotional distress leave. This conduct caused the victim to leave the town in which she lived and start a new life elsewhere. Awards of $16,000 and an additional sum of $18,000 was made as "special compensation".