Court ruling opens doors to privacy lawsuits

BMO worker wins lawsuit against co-worker who looked at her records
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/28/2012

A decision by the Ontario Court of Appeal has opened the door to lawsuits for invasion of privacy — and employers should take notice, according to Mary Beth Currie, co-leader of Bennett Jones’ employment services practice in Toronto.

In a unanimous decision, the court recognized the right of an Ontario woman to sue for damages for the anguish and suffering caused by an intrusion into her bank records by a fellow employee.

Sandra Jones and Winnie Tsige both worked at the Bank of Montreal (BMO) although they did not work together. Tsige was involved in a relationship with Jones’ former husband and, against bank policy, looked into Jones’ bank records at least 174 times over a four-year period. Tsige was suspended without pay for one week and denied a bonus.