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Accusations of racism in class action litigation against military

An individual seeking justice within the workings of a large corporation may find the process very challenging. By undertaking class action litigation, however, it may be possible to bring injustices to light outside of the confines of an internal system. Three veterans have chosen to go toe-to-toe in a fight with the Canadian Forces over alleged racism, a problem they say is rampant and goes unpunished on a regular basis.

Two black men and one aboriginal allege they were each subjected to racial taunts and slurs during their time serving in the military. The trio served at a variety of bases across Canada, including CFB Trenton in Ontario. Claims made in the lawsuit include enduring verbal abuse, having family members insulted and being denied adequate food and shelter. One claimant alleges he was physically abused with a cigarette lighter.

When complaints were made to superiors, each of the men claims they were either ignored, or told to ignore the situations and not seek help higher up the chain of command. One of the men has been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of the incidents, and a second claims to also have developed a psychological problem before being dismissed from service. The total damages being sought have not been released, and the Canadian Forces are reviewing the suit.

When a situation at work becomes intolerable due to inappropriate treatment at the hands of a co-worker, an employee should feel the employer will take any complaint he or she makes seriously. If complaints are repeatedly ignored, that person may feel there is no further recourse. However, options may be available. A lawyer experienced with Ontario employment law and litigation can advise on whether class action litigation may be appropriate for the situation.

Source: 680news.com, "Three former military members launch suit alleging systemic racism in Forces", Alison Auld, Dec. 23, 2016

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