EXCLUSIVE: Two female officers suing Toronto Police
NEWSTALK 1010 has learned that at least two female police officers who currently have cases before the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, are going to sue Toronto Police.
The officers have claimed they have been the subject of sexual harassment, while on the job, including being sent possibly hundreds of images through text.
Those images have been described as "sexually degrading, humiliating and at the very least, serious sexual harassment." says lawyer Howard Levitt, who represents the women.
Levitt says the women complained to the force and allegedly faced further retaliation.
"I understand everyone in senior positions in the police know about it, and have done absolutely nothing to protect them." says Levitt.
He says if anything like this was to happen at a private company, someone would be fired, immediately.
"But at the police force, it seems to be condoned." says Levitt.
When it comes to the repurcussions that the officers claimed they faced after coming forward with complaints, some are eyebrow raising.
"Not getting overtime, not getting preferential career advancement. Also, apparently instructions to officers not to provide backup." says co-counsel Tatha Swan. "That actually results in endangering them in the line of duty."
The case is still in the preliminary stages and won't be filed until early 2019.
So why a lawsuit now? Levitt says at the Human Rights Tribunal, it all comes down to money.
"The police force is capable of putting in so many witnesses, that these two complainants would be bankrupted well before they ever got to a final decision." says Levitt. "So, we're going to deal with it through avenues that are not cost prohibitive."
Late Friday, Toronto Police released the following statement.
“The Toronto Police Service takes issues of harassment and discrimination within the organization very seriously. Over the last several years steps have been taken to provide members with better awareness and supervisors with better training to appropriately deal with these types of issues. There is always room for improvement and the Chief and Command are fully committed to addressing any violations of the Human Rights Code. We cannot speculate on a lawsuit that has yet to be filed.”