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WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit by former flight attendant

Last Updated Jan 18, 2018 at 3:20 pm EDT

VANCOUVER – WestJet (TSX:WJA) has filed an appeal after the Supreme Court of British Columbia refused to throw out a proposed class-action lawsuit that accuses the company of fostering a corporate culture that tolerates harassment against female employees.

The airline argues Justice Mary Humphries was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action, repeating its argument that the dispute belongs before a human rights tribunal and workers’ compensation board.

A court document filed last week by WestJet also says the two-year deadline has passed to file a claim and argues the original lawsuit should be put on hold until an appeal is resolved.

Former flight attendant Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination, accusing her former employer of breaking its promise to provide a harassment-free workplace for women.

Lewis has not filed a response to the notice of appeal.

None of the allegations made in the lawsuit have been proven in court.

The lawsuit proposes to represent all of WestJet’s past and current female flight attendants whose employment included a so-called anti-harassment promise, but it has yet to be approved as a class action.