Divisional Court to hear judicial review of $200,000 award issued by HRTO

Alison, November 9, 2018

Earlier in 2018, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (“HRTO”) issued a decision awarding $200,000 to an applicant, the highest monetary award to date. In A.B. v. Joe Singer Shoes Limited, 2018 HRTO 107, the HRTO determined that the personal respondent (the store owner), the employee’s employer and landlord, sexually harassed and solicited the employee at work and at home and created a poisoned work environment for her. The HRTO held the respondents jointly and severally liable for the monetary award.

In Joe Singer Shoes Limited. V. AB, 2018 ONSC 5869 (Div. Ct.), Divisional Court issued a preliminary decision about this decision. The employer judicially reviewed the HRTO decision and in the materials they filed in support of the judicial review, the employer filed an affidavit of a medical practitioner on which they intend to rely. The Court ordered the affidavit to be struck, commenting that the medical evidence was not relevant to the issues on judicial review and that it could have been adduced at the hearing.

However, the interesting question of what, if anything, Divisional Court will do about the $200,000 remedy when it determines the merits of the judicial review argument remains outstanding. Stay tuned.

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