You are on page 1of 7
Court File No.: CV-18-594130 ONTARIO SUPERIOR COURT OF JUSTICE BETWEEN: AUDREY JAMES Plaintiff ~and - CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION Defendant STATEMENT OF DEFENCE 1 Except as hereinafter expressly admitted, the defendant, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (“CBC" or the Corporation"), denies each of the allegations contained in the ‘Statement of Claim and puts the plaintiff to the strict proof thereof. James’ Employment with CBC 2. CBC is a federally-regulated Crown Corporation and is Canada's national public broadcaster pursuant to a mandate set out in the Broadcasting Act, S.C. 1991, ¢.11 3. The Plaintiff, Audrey James (“James'), first commenced employment with CBC on or about November 29, 1988. At the time of the termination of her employment for cause on March 2, 2018, James was employed by CBC in the position of Senior Director, Scheduling and ‘was entitled to a compensation and benefits package commensurate with such position. 4, As the Senior Director, Scheduling, James had 12 employees that reported to her. James herself reported to the General Manager, Programming. James was a member of management, but her subordinates included members of a bargaining unit represented by the Canadian Media Guild (the "CMG"), whose employment was governed by a collective agreement. 5. Atall times material to the Statement of Claim, CBC acted fairly and appropriately in its management of James’ employment. CBC encouraged James in her growth as an employee and supported her in all aspects of her employment. Any allegations to the contrary are false and without merit. Termination of James’ Employment with CBC 6. As a Senior Director and leader within CBC’s Programming team, it was CBC's reasonable expectation that James would conduct herself at all times in a professional and appropriate manner, would demonstrate leadership and commitment to the Corporation and its mandate, and would act as a role model and example for other CBC employees, including but not limited to her superiors, peers and subordinates. Unprofessional and Inappropriate Communications 7. In or about the spring and summer of 2017, CBC's Human Resources department received comments and concems regarding James's treatment of her colleagues and her subordinates. 8. The number of comments and concerns about James's behaviour increased and so, CBC's Human Resources department initiated an investigation on or about August 25, 2017 (the “Investigation’). 9. As James had a clea disciplinary record and no history of complaints, the Investigation began with an assessment of whether the allegations against James were made in good faith ‘and were not simply James exercising her management authority. This initial assessment raised consistent and very serious allegations that could not be dismissed solely as management authority. Accordingly, in order to preserve the integrity of the process for all involved in the Investigation including James, on or about September 28, 2017, James was administratively assigned home, where she continued to receive her full pay and access to benefits. 410. During the course of the Investigation, James did not show up for one of her interviews. James advised that she missed the interview due to illness. James then proceeded to claim sick leave. As a result of James's sick leave and her inability to participate, the Investigation was put on hold until James was medically cleared. 44, James was medically cleared on or about February 8, 2018, wherein she was once again administratively assigned home with pay and the Investigation resumed. 12, The Investigation concluded on or about February 28, 2018. The Investigation found, inter alia: @) (b) © @) e) 1) (9) (h) 0 @ (k) 0) (m James made inappropriate comments regarding pregnancies and family planning, including, “if you get pregnant | will push you down the stairs’ and “| crush up birth control in her orange juice every morning so she won't have children” or words to that effect; James made unwelcome comments with respect to the personal lives of her employees in regards to divorce and infidelity; James made unwelcome comments about the weight of her subordinates; James engaged in behaviours that discouraged subordinates from taking annual leave and required her subordinates to be available when on annual leave; James intentionally limited her subordinates from speaking with certain employees or departments within the CBC; James engaged in behaviours that excluded employees for the purposes of punishment; James used terms such as "Dyke" and “Lesbian” in a derogatory manner; James referred to a month of programming focused on Indigenous cultures as “Abo Month" and would make a coordinating gesture of tapping her mouth with her hand; James said to a subordinate “one day your daughter is going to jump in front of the train and kill herself’, or words to that effect; James told a subordinate to “shut the fuck up”, or words to that effect; James bullied a colleague and told that colleague “no one likes you", or words to that effect; James shared her subordinates’ salaries without authorization; James revealed confidential information regarding an employee complaint;

You might also like