November 25, 2013

Government releases Manitoba Human Rights Commission 2012 Annual Report

"A disturbing number of sexual harassment allegations were referred to adjudication in 2012" says Chairperson Yvonne Peters after the release of the Commission's 2012 annual report. "Last year, of the 12 cases referred to adjudication 10 included allegations of sex discrimination (2) or sexual harassment." (8)

"Although it is too early to consider this is a trend, or to speculate why so many sexual harassment cases are being referred to adjudication, the one year statistic is worrisome," she says.

Historically, between 2000 and 2011, only two human rights public hearings have been held in Manitoba in which the adjudicator was asked to consider allegations of sexual harassment. Generally over the past five years, between 3 and 4 per cent of the formal complaints filed have been on the basis of sexual harassment.

All the 2012 sexual harassment files that were referred to adjudication have been closed. Three of the files did go as far as a public hearing and either settled during the public hearings or a decision was handed down by the adjudicator. The others were settled before public notices were released, prior to adjudication dates being set.

Employment remains the highest area of discrimination complaints, while 47 percent of the complaints in all areas (employment, housing and services) continue to be those based on disability.

Highlights of 2012 include amendments to the Human Rights Code with the addition of two new protected characteristics: gender identity and social disadvantage. Also the 25th Anniversary of the Human Rights Code" was celebrated.

The complete 2012 Annual Report is available on the Commission's website

Also available on the website are the previous sexual harassment adjudications (Budge 2002 and JD 2005) under decisions and click on harassment.


For more information please contact:
Patricia Knipe
Communications Director
Manitoba Human Rights Commission