Carol Loiselle filed a discrimination and harassment complaint with the B.C. Humans Right Tribunal in 2018 after working at Windward Software Systems, Inc. in Penticton for eight years. (Google maps photo)

Carol Loiselle filed a discrimination and harassment complaint with the B.C. Humans Right Tribunal in 2018 after working at Windward Software Systems, Inc. in Penticton for eight years. (Google maps photo)

Penticton woman wins part of her B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case

Carol Loiselle alleges she faced years of discrimination, harassment at Windward Software Systems

A Penticton woman who claims she faced years of harassment and gender-based discrimination while employed at a local software systems company has had her complaint reviewed by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Carol Loiselle alleges she endured numerous instances of harassment and discrimination while employed at Windward Software Inc. from 2010 to 2017. In 2018, she filed a complaint against the company.

A decision released Jan. 12, 2020, by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal found that some of Loiselle’s allegations were legitimate, while others did not have merit.

Namely, the tribunal found Loiselle was the victim of discrimination on three specific occasions, but overall the bullying and unfair treatment Loiselle claimed she endured was not part of an ongoing discriminatory work environment aimed at forcing her out of the company.

READ MORE: Human Rights Tribunal dismisses complaint from Okanagan Correctional inmate

Loiselle began working at Windward Software in 2009 as an account manager.

She claims that things became difficult for her when Steve Sterry was also hired as an account manager in 2010. Despite Windward Software having a predominately male workforce overall, Sterry was the only male account manager upon his hiring.

Sterry was eventually promoted over Loiselle and still works for the company.

In the tribunal’s decision, Loiselle’s allegations are broken down into two categories: claims that she was treated differently in the workplace based on gender and claims of inappropriate male behaviour towards her.

Loiselle claims her sales manager Kevin Schilter treated her differently than Sterry — her peer and fellow account manager.

In meetings that occurred in late-2017, Sterry and a new sales manager told Loiselle that they had concerns about her performance and that they planned to take clients away from her if she didn’t improve. Loiselle testified these claims about her work performance were “disingenuous.”

After these meetings, Loiselle went on medical leave and never returned to Windward.

However, the tribunal found Windward’s concerns about Loiselle’s performance to be legitimate.

“I have found Windward had genuine concerns about Ms. Loiselle’s CRM note taking and client contact despite there not being documentation of it,” tribunal member Grace Chen wrote.

Loiselle stated Windward “constructively dismissed” her because the discrimination she suffered in the workplace led to her leaving the job and that Windward did little to stop the discrimination. Windward denies that it discriminated against Loiselle in any way.

The tribunal concluded that Loiselle had proven discrimination based on her sex and/or marital status in the incidents involving her hand being slapped and being given the inappropriate love questionnaire. Discrimination was also proven in three incidents involving an employee identified as SM. Loiselle says SM “hit her buttocks with keys, put her in a headlock and hit her on the forehead,” in three separate incidents taking place separately from 2013 to 2014.

SM was suspended by the company for three days without pay for hitting Loiselle on the forehead, but Loiselle was not made aware of the disciplinary action. No other actions were taken by Windward Software to dispel SM’s behaviour.

Ultimately, the tribunal found that Loiselle had not proven discrimination for the other allegations in her complaint due to insufficient evidence. It was also determined that she had not proven she was “consecutively dismissed due to discrimination.”

Both parties are expected to submit written submissions on a remedy to the tribunal. The parties may also take advantage of the tribunal’s mediation services to try to come to a mutual agreement.

READ MORE: #MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

workplace harassment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Oliver Municipal Aiport runway will be extended in spring 2021. (Oliver Municipal Airport / Facebook)
Oliver airport runway to be extended

The extension will be funded through a provincial grant

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

BC Housing has proposed that the emergency winter shelter at Victory Church at 352 Winnipeg Street be extended as a shelter until March 31, 2022. It was originally intended to be open until April 1, 2021. (Jesse Day - Western News)
One more year of ‘temporary’ homeless shelter in Penticton?

BC Housing has applied to extend Victory Church as a shelter for those experiencing homelessness

The Wrong Turn Tavern in Keremeos is for sale. (Facebook)
Popular Keremeos tavern up for sale

Owner Liza Sanders is selling The Wrong Turn Tavern for $800,000

Walter Makepeace was shocked to find two of his beehives were missing from his Keremeos acreage Feb. 20, 2020. (Contributed)
Allegedly stolen beehives create buzz in Keremeos

Walter Makepeace was shocked to see two beehives had gone missing from his property

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here are the stories that made waves in the Okanagan-Shuswap

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Arrow Lakes Caribou Society said the new caribou pen near the Nakusp Hotsprings is close to completion. (Submitted)
Maternity caribou pen near Nakusp inches closer to fruition

While Nakusp recently approved the project’s lease, caribou captures are delayed due to COVID-19

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021
Kamloops-Thompson school district drafts new dress code policy after students sent home

The new policy is being created after a NorKam secondary student was sent home because of what she was wearing

Most Read