The #metoo and #timesup movements are making their impact on the legal profession

  • November 13, 2018
  • Kimberly Srivastava

The Law Society’s Equity and Indigenous Affairs Committee has just released a report on the activities of the Duty and Harassment Counsel of the Law Society of Ontario (LSO). The report shows that there been a 50% increase in discrimination complaints against lawyers this year, including complaints by members of the public and other legal professionals. The statistics in this report are remarkable.

80% of the substantiated complaints made by other legal professionals were made by women, more than half of whom are racialized, or women with disabilities. Out of the 6 men, 5 identified themselves as racialized, gay, of a minority religion or a man with disability.

These numbers indicate the prevalence of gender discrimination in the legal profession and are indicative of the insidiousness of sexual harassment and intersectional discrimination within our society. Intersectional discrimination occurs when the discriminatory behaviour is linked to multiple protected grounds such as race, disability, or sexual orientation etc which operate and interact with each other.

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination in employment is a reality for women in all industries and can have a profound impact on their livelihoods and economic independence.

Bakerlaw is committed to advocating for women’s ability to work free from discrimination and represents clients experiencing sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination including verbal harassment, sexual assaults, solicitation and pregnancy discrimination, in employment.

Most recently, Bakerlaw helped a client win a landmark award of $200,000 at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario for sexual assaults she experienced over a number of years at the hand of her employer. You can read the blog post on the decision here (link).

Bakerlaw is sensitive to the fact that women experiencing sexual harassment and discrimination are hesitant to come forward for a number of reasons including the potential impact on their career. However, if you are experiencing harassment and discrimination based on gender including sexual assault, solicitation, pregnancy discrimination, and considering coming forward, contact us to discuss your options.

You can read the report here (link).

You can read the Law Times article covering the report here (link).

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