BD&P Announces Historic Settlement in Workplace Sexual Misconduct Class Action against Leduc


Burnet, Duckworth and Palmer LLP is pleased to announce that our clients, Christa Steele and Mindy Smith, have reached a historic class action settlement with the City of Leduc for systemic sexual abuse, harassment, and assault against female city employees, including firefighters.

The terms of this settlement include:

  • The highest per-person monetary compensation in a Canadian class-action settlement for workplace misconduct. 
  • A significant 20-year claimant eligibility time period
  • A confidential non-adversarial, and non-confrontational, claims process to facilitate claimant participation and provide a safe process for women to come forward.
  • Non-monetary remedies include a public apology from the Mayor of Leduc and a  requirement that Leduc take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that no retaliation occurs against women who participate in the class action or who make a claim.

The per person compensation is more substantial than Canada’s most prominent workplace misconduct class action settlements involving the RCMP and The Department of National Defense and involve a claims process that is more claimant friendly. 

This is the first class action settlement for workplace sexual misconduct involving a municipality as well as the first involving a fire department in Canadian history.

BD&P is proud of the work done by our legal team, led by Robert Martz, including Richard Steele, Sydney Black and Alanna Wiercinski. The team were able to overcome extremely complex legal challenges in this case that had led previous cases to be dismissed without a hearing on the merits.

 “When this case came to us we knew that we had a responsibility to do whatever we could to help these women. We took on this case despite its legal challenges because what we saw at Leduc cannot be tolerated and those who discriminate, sexually harass, and sexually assault women need to be held accountable. We also believe that the legal system needs to evolve to hold employers accountable that tolerate this type of systemic sexual misconduct, and to encourage women who suffer this type of workplace abuse to come forward. Our team at BD&P worked hard to hold Leduc accountable and get compensation for the harm these women had suffered. We believe that this agreement sets a precedent for all workplaces in Canada that harassment of any kind cannot be tolerated,” said Robert Martz, BD&P Partner. 

This settlement will have a significant impact on the future of workplace misconduct cases and as a law firm, we are proud to make a contribution to a more just and equitable society for all.

For more information, view the press release here and visit leducclassaction.com.

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