Workplace Sexual Harassment

Ontario Tribunal Awards



 Summary Compensatory Damages

Lost Income Awards

   The reader should recall the distinction between compensatory damages and "mental anguish" awards prior to the amendments to the Ontario Code effective June 30, 2008.
Tribunal Awards - Ontario HRTO
OHRC v Motsewetsho 2003 Sexual solicitations in the hiring process; one complaint included a second assertion of  ethnic origin. Sums ranged from $5,000 to $15,000. Damages for mental anguish were also ordered to two applicants of $1,000 and $2,000.
Sandford v Koop 2005 Two year period of provocative sexual harassment $25,000. There was also an award of $10,000 for mental anguish as was then allowed by the statute. The complaint against the employer was settled independently.

Lost income $18,570, moving expenses $666, medical reports $375;

This award was against the personal respondent, Dr. Koop. He made no submissions on the remedy issue.

Arias v Desai, 2003 Student sexually harassed and terminated as a reprisal. $25,000 plus $5,000 for mental anguish damages.

Lost income award of $1,920;

Liability was joint and several due to personal respondent as “directing mind

Desousa v Gauthier 2002 Sexual harassment and general reprisal. $25,000 inclusive of mental anguish damages and reprisal damages.
Liability was joint and several due to personal respondent as “directing mind”
Lost income award of $8,470
Baylis-Flannery v DeWilde 2003 Verbal and physical abuse and racial. Manager was told to find a pretext to fire the applicant. $35,000 plus $10,000 for mental anguish.

Lost income award of $3,384

Metcalfe v Papa Joe’s Pizza 2005 Verbal sexual abuse accompanied by some touching $12,000, $8,000 for mental anguish
$5,000 lost income
Complainant’s father (apparently) was also awarded damages based on family status as he was a co-worker and supported the complaint. This award was $8,000 plus $4,000 for mental anguish and a wage loss of $1,800.
All awards were joint and several against the corporate and personal respondents
Cugliara v Clubine 2006 Sexual solicitations. Kissing. $17,500 as damages for hurt feelings and mental anguish;

Medical report not required for mental anguish damage award.

Murchie v JB’s Mongolian Grill 2006 Touching of the applicant’s nipple;

general damage award was influenced by the flawed investigation and the finding of reprisal for an incident which was serious, but isolated.


$16,000, of which $15,000 was against corporate employer and $1,000 against personal respondent;

Lost income award of $4,329

Chard v Newton 2007 Sexual jokes and comments, touching of buttocks and breast on two distinct occasions.


Cumulative award of $16,000 inclusive of mental anguish



Smith v Menzies Chrysler HRTO


Sexual harassment and reprisal and poisoned work environment.

Colleague removed his pants in the complainant’s presence. Same person exposed his penis to the complainant, asked complaint to suck it.


A total award of $50,000 was made to a male applicant which was apportioned as a total of $10,000 against two respondents individually, $25,000 against the employer, and $15,000 for reprisal.



Joint and several liability due to poisoned work environment by deeming statutory provision and also “directing mind”



M.K 1217991 operating a Wimpy’s Diner 2010 Verbally abusive and threat of force to have sex and physical abuse, exposing his penis while masturbating, trying to insert his finger into the applicant’s vagina. $40,000



Reconsideration motion Personal respondents liable for $15,000 of the initial total $30,000 award and 50% of the poisoned work environment.
Farris – Divisional Court set aside Div Ct


Div Ct set aside decision not to find personal respondents liable as “directing mind”.
Iu v Markham Marble Feb 2012 Sexual advances, touched on  buttocks on one occasion, and on another occasion standing in front of her desk with his fly unzipped.


$20,000 ;

Joint and several liability

Smith v Rover’s Rest 2013 Sexual comments to the applicant, touching her buttocks, making sexual advances toward her, and reprisal, as employment was terminated for refusing his sexual advances.


J.D. v The Ultimate Cut Unisex First applicant was based on  sexual comments and advances, touching her shoulders, back and leg and slapping her buttocks, asking her to sleep with a friend of his.

In the second case, the respondent was found to have rubbed her upper thigh, asking about how her boyfriend touched her, offering her gifts, and ultimately hugging her and pulling her onto his lap.


Each of two applicants awarded $40,000.



C.K. v H.S. 2014 The male forced the applicant to touch his genitalia and ejaculated on her. He also touched her breast and tried to pull her pants down.



Lost income award of $6,760

O.P.T. and M.P.T v Presteve Foods Ltd. and Pratas HRTO 2015 Both complainants were migrant workers from Mexico in Canada on temporary work permits and threatened with termination and hence deportation, failing each one’s willingness to comply with the owner’s demand for sexual favours. The second victim, 22 years old, was required to leave Canada and return to Mexico. $150,000 and $50,000 respectively. No lost income claim was advanced.

Joint and several liability due to poisoned work environment by deeming statutory provision and also “directing mind”.

A.B. v Joe Singer Shoes & Paul Singer


HRTO Jan 2018

JR dismissed by Div Ct

Applicant was required to submit to various forms of sexual demands, including sexual intercourse, over a period of 18 years. $200,000;

joint and several liability by controlling mind

A.M. v Kellock HRTO
"unwanted" acts of sexual solicitation by General Manager of hotel to probationary housekeeper $75,000. The case was not defended.
N.K. v Botuik HRTO
persistent and severe sexual harassment; unwanted sexual intercourse $170,000, an award which was in excess of the sum which was requested;
The case was undefended. The employer settled independently, the details of which were not disclosed. The claim against the personal respondent was not defended.
Escobar v WCL Capital May 2020 Numerous suggestive comments over a period of 2.5 months, including touching of shoulders and legs, conduct which was not "egregious". $50,000 including reprisal damages. Case was not defended.
McWilliam v Toronto Police Services Board HRTO

June 2020

Series of harassing behaviours over an extended time period and one forced kiss $75,000 of which $10,000 was joint and several with personal respondent
AB v. 2096115 Ontario Inc.


June 2020 Complainant who awoke after a night of heavy drinking to her boss who had removed most of his clothing and placed her hand into his underwear while attempting to kiss her;

Used the complainant’s hand to stroke his penis, kissing her and blowing on her cheeks and ear.

L.N. v Ray Daniel Salon & Spa Feb 2024 Award was a composite sum for sexual harassment, solicitation and advances, discrimination based on citizenship,  the threats of reporting the applicant to the police when she tried to enforce her rights, and the respondent’s more recent actions taken against the applicant, in the form of the Statement of Claim filed and the inappropriate communication with the applicant’s witness.


Case was undefended