Bad Behaviour 7.0: Sexual Harassment & Wrongful Dismissal.

AuthorBowal, Peter

Usually, the person claiming to have been harassed sues the employer. In a 2004 B.C. case, the harasser sued the employer for wrongful dismissal.

This is the bad behaviour story of a spurned co-worker in a union office. His romantic desires were unreciprocated. He was then accused of revenge. Years later, the employer found out and launched investigations. The employer fired the employee with 25 years of service.

Usually, the person claiming to have been harassed sues the employer. In this case, the harasser sued the employer for wrongful dismissal.

The Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Wayne Brazeau, 61, supported and mentored Christine Pynaker, 35, while they worked together in a union office in Calgary in mid-1993. He helped her get a big promotion and --now recently divorced--also took a romantic interest in Pynaker, who was single.

When on a trip to New York, he sent her cards and other messages. These cards read:

It was wonderful to hear your voice today. It's the next best thing to a "HUG"... I think you know I care about you, but I wonder if you realize how much ... And I wonder if I can ever find the words to tell you... You are truly a wonderful person and care for you ever so much [sic] ... Please take care, I really do miss you and look forward to hearing your voice on the phone... This day may have not been the best, but you are in every way. Have a pleasant weekend and take care!! With all the love a person has to offer to another, Wayne. He signed these cards "O and Xs With Love." On some, he drew a smiling face heart, which he called a "Happy Hart" and used postage stamps with "Love" printed on them.

He did not express romantic interest to Pynaker directly. He was "scared of the answer." She did not return the feelings or mention the messages partly because of the age difference.

While successfully mentoring Pynaker at work, Brazeau continued to lavish her with dinners, flowers, jewelry and other expensive gifts--which she accepted. He paid for her flight to Spain at Christmas 1993, and sent her off with this handwritten message:

Christine, there are as many beautiful people on earth as there are stars in the sky and you are the most beautiful of them all in every sense of imagination a person may possess. May you have a restful pleasant vacation, all my thoughts, dreams and wishes will be with you. Should you be looking for a vacation and lifestyle full of frolic some fun, happiness, romance, kindness, caring and sincerity...

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