Calgary police officer sues CPS for sexual harassment, intimidation, ‘outrageous conduct’
A Calgary police officer who has been on stress leave for nearly two years after claiming she was the victim of sexual harassment, intimidation and “outrageous conduct,” has filed a lawsuit against the Calgary Police Service (CPS), Calgary Police Association (CPA) and the chief of police.
In a statement of claim filed by lawyers representing Kimberly Prodaniuk, the officer alleges that since joining the police service in March 2006, she was subject to harassment that resulted in damages, including major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and economic losses from not working.
The statement outlines numerous allegations by Prodaniuk, none of which have been proven in court, which include:
- Being threatened by a fellow officer that he would spread sexual rumours about her
- Being forced to work without a partner on a number of occasions after reporting inappropriate behaviour
- Being asked by a fellow male police officer to describe the “best blow job you’ve ever given”
- Being flirted with by a fellow male police officer
- Being forced to pretend to perform oral sex using a bag of frozen peas
- Being forced to pretend to have an orgasm on a merry-go-round in a shopping mall where children were present, and other locations
- Being forced to approach and convince a random man at a grocery store to have a threesome
- Being told by a superior officer that “police women have a tone in their voice, maybe you need to take a f**king course”
- Being told by an inspector in human resources that her claims of harassment were rooted in her reputation of being a bitch
- Being told by the head of the CPA that she “seemed like a sensitive girl”
- Being told by the head of the CPA that it “did not handle misconduct or other employees, members and officers or ‘blue on blue’ grievances”
Prodaniuk claims she shuffled from unit to unit within the service in the 11 years of her career due to pressures and harassment from fellow employees.
According to the statement of claim, Prodaniuk claims the defendants — the CPS, CPA and the police chief — either “collectively or individually failed to exercise their powers and discretions to prevent and properly respond to the conduct and thereby the defendants tolerated, ignored and condoned the conduct to [her] detriment.”
In addition, she claims the chief is liable for the behaviour and conduct of other officers and that she was a dependent of the chief, financially or otherwise, throughout her career with the service.
She also claims the parties did so because she is a female police officer, “not part of the male-dominated sub-culture within the service and association.”
The service and association are also accused of conspiracy as Prodaniuk claims they suppressed the existence of the inappropriate conduct and preventing her from advancing within the service.
A statement of defence has not been filed by either party named in the lawsuit, however, in an emailed statement, the CPS said it was aware of the lawsuit but couldn’t comment further as the matter is before the courts.
Les Kaminski, president of the CPA, said in an emailed statement that the association refutes the claims.
“The Calgary Police Association supports and advocates for our members vigorously, and refute[s] these claims,” he said. “We will be filing our statement of defence in short order.”
Prodaniuk took stress leave on March 27, 2017 and has not returned to CPS.
She is suing the CPS, CPA and police chief for damages for the loss of her reputation, the emotional, mental and physical distress she endured, and her inability to return to work.
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