VANCOUVER — Three women who shared their stories of sexual harassment as part of a class-action lawsuit against the RCMP have shown great courage so others who may have endured similar experiences can come forward, a lawyer said Monday.
Lawyers for Cheryl Tiller, Mary Ellen Copland and Dayna Roach reached a settlement that opens the door to potential claims from thousands of women who worked in non-policing roles including as volunteers since Sept. 16, 1974, lead counsel Angela Bespflug told a news conference in Vancouver.
Tiller sought legal advice in February 2017, claiming she was sexually harassed by a superior at a detachment in Yorkton, Sask. Copeland alleged similar harassment in Surrey, B.C., as did Roach, who was office manager of the detachment in Lloydminster, Alta.
“I encourage women to come forward,” Tiller said in a statement. “Be brave. This is not your fault. Start the healing journey.”
The sexual harassment of Tiller and Copland was followed by a change in how they were treated and then retaliation, said Bespflug, whose firm Klein Lawyers represented the two women. Roach contacted lawyer Patrick Higgerty in Calgary and he said the two companies joined forces for the lawsuit because the women’s cases were so similar.