Court Exorcises Tort

Photo credit: Kevin P. Siu [CC BY-SA 4.0] Tech sector employers take notice: harassment is not a tort. At least, for now.Torts are wrongful acts that attract liability in civil courts. Torts such as defamation and wrongful termination and familiar in the employment context but a new tort of harassment would have created a hazard for employers and a new opportunity for relief for employees.On March 15, 2019, the Ontario Court of Appeal released its judgement in the case of Merrifield v. Canada (Attorney General).The Court of Appeal’s rejection of harassment as a tort is good news for employers, like those in the tech industry with non-traditional employer/employee relations, who may be at risk of their managerial discretion being construed as managerial harassment.BackgroundBeginning in 2005,  RCMP officer Peter Merrifield experienced several work unit transfers and faced scrutiny over unauthorized media…

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