CIVIL COURT ACTION
Q. Can I sue the person who is harassing me?
You cannot directly sue a sexual harasser for something that is covered by the Human Rights Code. You cannot sue someone for harassing you or violating your rights. The Human Rights Commission is set up to deal with these complaints.
You may be able to sue for reasons related to the harassment. If you are fired from your job, you may be able to sue the University for "wrongful dismissal." Your harassment on the job may come up in the case. If you feel you have been forced out of your job, even if you were not fired, you may be able to sue for "constructive dismissal."
You may be able to sue for "breach of fiduciary obligation." This means that the University (through one of its agents, or employees) pressured you or took advantage of your trust, acted in bad faith, and without your full acknowledge and consent.
If you were injured as a result of the harassment, you may be able to sue for "negligence."
When you sue someone, you take them to civil court. You ask the court to order the other person to pay damages. It might mean money to compensate for your pain and suffering, or for lost wages or costs incurred. In civil court, you try to show that your version of what happened is more probably than the other person's. This is different from criminal case, where the crown must show, "beyond a reasonable doubt," that the accused is guilty.
Suing someone is a private action. It is not something that the government or police do on your behalf.
You have to cover the cost of taking someone to civil court. This can include hiring a lawyer. If you win, the court may order the other person pay these costs, on top of the award for damages.
You can find out more information from a lawyer or a legal clinic. You can also contact the district court or small claims court in your area for more information. Small claims court handles cases where the total claim is $6,000 or less.