Call Us Now

Blog

Employer Ordered to Pay Damages and Lost Wages for Sending Inappropriate Text Messages

Posted On: January, 21 2015

Lisa McIntosh was awarded $12,500 in general damages, as well as lost wages, after being forced to leave her job due to sexual harassment by her boss, Zbigniew Augustynowicz.

Ms. McIntosh worked at Metro Aluminum as a delivery driver. She had a brief consensual relationship with her boss, but called it off after a couple of months. Ms. McIntosh and Mr. Augustynowicz had exchanged sexually suggestive text messages during their relationship.

After Ms. McIntosh ended the relationship, Mr. Augustynowicz sent sexually demeaning and provocative text messages to Ms. McIntosh and ignored her repeated written and verbal requests for him to stop.

Ms. McIntosh went off work due to stress following two months of Mr. Augustynowicz’s repeated sexual harassment via text message. Despite this, Mr. Augustynowicz continued to harass Ms. McIntosh during her stress leave.

Not surprisingly, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (the “Tribunal”) agreed with Ms. McIntosh that she was subject to discrimination and sexual harassment in employment on the basis of sex. A link to the decision can be found here.

As the Tribunal explained, Mr. Augustynowicz was in a position of authority over Ms. McIntosh. He was responsible for ensuring that her workplace was free of sexual harassment. According to the Tribunal, Mr. Augustynowicz failed in this responsibility by repeatedly sending Ms. McIntosh sexually demeaning text communications when he knew, or ought to have known, that his sexual comments and propositions were offensive, inappropriate and unlawful.

The Tribunal found that while as consenting adults, Mr. Augustynowicz and Ms. McIntosh were entitled to enter into a sexual relationship in the workplace, despite this being ill-advised. However, once the relationship was over, Mr. Augustynowicz had a legal responsibility to ensure that he ceased such sexually suggestive communications. The Tribunal also concluded that Ms. McIntosh’s boss had failed to ensure that the breakdown of his relationship with Ms. McIntosh did not negatively impact her working environment.

 

Contact Us

RECENT NEWS & EVENTS

5 STAR REVIEWS

  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by SB

    I just wanted to let you know how happy I am with the outcome and how very grateful I am for the guidance and support that you and your team provided.
  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by Google user

    Patrick James is really a great lawyer who is smart and great to deal with. He's been our litigation counsel for over 5 years on several different matters. Patrick recently gave our company great strategic advice that resulted in a big commercial litigation win for our company. He's fierce, tenacious, and really cares about getting the best outcome for his clients.
  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by Google user

    Patrick is a very good lawyer. He recently successfully defended a lawsuit against my company and has pursued several litigation claims for us in the past. All claims settled input favour. Mr. James is smart and quickly gives you great strategic advice. Patrick has been a real asset to our business.
  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by Sandra L.

    Andrew Wray and Patrick James recently helped settle a difficult situation for me and my family. The results were exactly what we were hoping for. They are honest, strategic and will provide you with the best advice for you and your financial situation. I highly recommend them to everyone I know.
  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by Mark C.

    Their team is highly focused and incredibly professional - from our experience it would be difficult not to believe that Pinto Wray James are one of Ontario's leading Firms in Labor and Employment law. The mindful client care and complete understanding of the case eased fears and the stress that comes with any legal dispute. Expect to find high level smartly crafted legal solutions at Pinto Wray James LLP - couldn't recommend more.
  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by Sherry C.

    Patrick is knowledgeable, strategic, supportive, and patient. His guidance and advice helped me to maintain focus and to keep things in perspective. His experience and keen perception provides him with an edge that allows him to assess the situation, the people involved, and to offer a strategic resolution that works best for all involved. If you ever require legal advice and assistance, I highly recommend him and his team. They will be there 100% for you.
  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by Christian V.

    Patrick is a fearless advocate for diverse clients. His strategic approach, and his empathy, are what set him apart as a litigator, and champion of the underdog.
  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by A Google User

    I have no hesitation recommending Andrew Wray of Pinto Wray James LLP. He provided me with legal advice regarding an employment law issue and his council was practical and honest. Andrew's approach is very much one of blending legal excellence with good common sense. An excellent lawyer!
  • Rating: 5 Lawyer Toronto - 5 Star Reviews
    Pinto Wray James Reviewed by Larry S.

    Patrick listens to his clients and shows compassion, empathy and professionalism. He cares deeply that the individual that has been wrongfully terminated gets the best judgment available to him. I would not hesitate in recommending him to friends or family.
Submit