Female Mountie taunted with dildo, sex doll: suit

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Female Mountie taunted with dildo, sex doll: suit
A long-awaited class action lawsuit claiming female Mounties were subjected to sexual taunts and pra

A long-awaited class action lawsuit claiming female Mounties were subjected to sexual taunts and pranks in the workplace has been filed, bringing to light new details of the shocking allegations. Only one officer, Const. Janet Merlo, is named in the documents filed Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court, but the firm representing her says it's heard from roughly 150 other women seeking to take part. Merlo, who worked with the Nanaimo RCMP from 1991 to 2010, claims she was mocked and discriminated against repeatedly during her years at the detachment until she developed post-traumatic stress disorder and quit. "It's too late for me," Merlo said in a statement, "but I hope that this lawsuit will bring about some positive change for women who are still with the RCMP and women who join in the future." In her claim, Merlo says her then-boyfriend and current husband Wayne Merlo was once told by a superior officer that she "is the right height because you can lay a six pack of beer on her head while she gives you a blow job." On another occasion, a watch sergeant allegedly held up a dildo that had been seized in evidence and yelled a sexual taunt at Merlo across the detachment. He's paraphrased in the suit as saying: "This thing was brand new yesterday. Now it's almost worn out. Did you take it home last night?" Her night shift supervisor also placed an inflatable naked woman next to his desk and on multiple occasions asked Merlo to stand next to it, according to the claim. Merlo also says she was also harassed for becoming pregnant with her first child. According to the suit, her supervising operations non-commissioned officer told her: "What the hell am I supposed to do with you now?" and "I have a suggestion for you: next time, keep your f---ing legs closed." The former constable says women were discriminated against in other ways as well, being scrutinized more heavily when requesting sick leave and not being allowed to take aerobics classes during breaks even while male members left for three-hour hockey games during shifts. RCMP spokesman Sgt. Greg Cox issued a statement late Tuesday saying the force is aware of the claim and will review it. "As with any large organization, conflict situations can arise, including harassment," Cox wrote. "The RCMP is committed in providing to all its employees a work environment free from harassment, discrimination and any resulting conflict, where all employees are treated with respect and dignity." Merlo says she decided to come forward after former RCMP spokesperson Catherine Galliford spoke out with allegations she was driven to alcohol abuse and suffered from PTSD after years of harassment. Klein Lyons, a Vancouver-based firm working on Merlo's suit along with lawyers in Ontario, says it could take up to two years to gather members and receive class certification. None of the allegations in the claim have been proven in court.

 

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