Former Sask. Pen staff member part of class action lawsuit alleging culture of racism at work

“It affected me mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. It still does today. It’s the whole process of how it was handled. So many mistakes, ”she said.

“We want the applicants to be compensated” – attorney Aden Klein

Sanderson claims she left the facility with mental illness and to this day wonders why she was never offered assistance – even when she reported the incidents to the above broadcasters.

“I lost my career, my ability to sense that what I had to say should be taken seriously and importantly. I felt like everything that happened couldn’t be handled properly, ”she said. “I basically had to take care of it or forget about it.”

Sanderson said she had been approached by the Edmonton-based co-plaintiff about the lawsuit. When asked what outcome might help her, Sanderson replied that she just wanted to conclude and confirm that the guidelines drawn up by the CSC to protect employees were not being followed.

“People say it’s a prison, you should expect to work in a place like this and be treated like that. No, it’s not okay to say things like that because what examples are we going to set for our future generations, ”she said.

Aden Klein is one of the lawyers representing the complainants and plans to apply for financial compensation, but told paNOW that he could not provide an exact number at this stage of the proceedings.

“We processed two other class actions for gender discrimination against the RCMP. Each of them settled for $ 100 million [each]”He said. He added, however, that it was unclear whether the CSC case was similar.

“We hope for a large amount. We want the applicants to be compensated, ”he said.

Klein said that there are two main categories of harm: one is emotional trauma and the other is financial due to lost wages due to early retirement.

“It appears that many racial individuals who have worked for the CSC, despite their high qualifications, have not been considered for promotions,” Klein said.

The case is being heard in federal court, but neither a location nor a date has been confirmed. The class action is intended to include all racially raced individuals who are, or have been, employees within the meaning of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.

Sanderson’s allegations, as well as those contained in the filed suit, remain unproven and have not been examined in court.

Response from Corrections Canada

Correctional Service Canada has told paNOW that administrators are aware of the proposed class action lawsuit alleging discriminatory treatment of its employees.

“With this matter on trial, it would be inappropriate for CSC to comment on the lawsuit and its allegations further,” the statement said.

Corrections Canada has stated, however, that racism and discrimination inside or outside CSC have absolutely no place in our society.

“CSC does not tolerate these behaviors and is committed to creating a workplace that is healthy, supportive and free from harassment and discrimination. Promoting a safe and inclusive work environment for everyone is our top priority, ”said the CSC.

The CSC also said it took concrete action last fall, including the implementation of a national, comprehensive and integrated strategy for the well-being and well-being of employees in the workplace, and strengthened its process of identifying and dealing with complaints related to harassment , Discrimination and violence.

One example was the implementation of a joint working group with the Parole Board of Canada last July to examine the diversity and racism within the federal corrections and conditional release system.

“This group completed a review of our current policies and programs, which are tailored to meet the specific needs of racially motivated offenders as well as the needs of employees to increase the diversity of our employees. Their review took into account existing studies on the over-representation of Black Canadians and Indigenous peoples in the criminal justice system, including recommendations by the parliamentary Black Caucus, “the CSC said.

The CSC plans to build on this work and is developing a framework and action plan against racism that includes consultation of stakeholders as well as indigenous and ethno-cultural groups.

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On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell

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