In March 2015, Linda Gillis Davidson launched a proposed class action in Ontario against the Attorney General of Canada alleging systemic gender- and sexual orientation-based discrimination, bullying and harassment of female RCMP employees. The action seeks damages on behalf of all current or former female regular members, civilian members and public service employees of the RCMP in Canada. A similar claim was also launched in British Columbia.
Ms. Davidson’s claim alleges that men and women were, and are, treated differently within the RCMP, and that female RCMP employees have been subject to systemic discrimination, bullying and harassment on the basis of their gender and/or sexual orientation. It also alleges that the RCMP has failed to investigate, adjudicate and resolve conduct and complaints about these issues, despite repeated reports over the years about the problems within the organization.
The plaintiff, Ms. Davidson, is a former senior-level RCMP member who alleges that she suffered discrimination, bullying and harassment throughout her 26-year RCMP career. Ms. Davidson alleges that as a result of this treatment, she, as well as the other class members, suffered serious injuries, physical and emotional injuries, including post-traumatic stress disorder, diminished self-worth, depression, and anxiety. The claim also alleges that as a result of these systemic issues, female RCMP employees have been denied training and promotions, and have even taken early retirement or have left the organization.
A settlement was reached with the Attorney General of Canada. As a result of the settlement, Ms. Davidson's claim was consolidated with the B.C. claim. The consolidated claims were certified and the settlement approved by the Federal Court.