jazz fm toronto

Toronto radio station embroiled in sexual harassment allegations

A former morning host for Toronto's embattled JAZZ.FM91 radio station is suing her old employer for how she says she was treated after speaking out against sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace.

Garvia Bailey, who joined the donation-funded broadcaster in September of 2014, said in a statement of claim that she was wrongfully dismissed by the station in April.

The Star reports that she filed a $420,000 lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging that she was terminated for joining a group of 12 other current and former employees in sending a letter to the station's board of directors about then-CEO Ross Porter's "inappropriate workplace conduct."

Bailey and her colleagues complained of "ongoing workplace harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, and general mismanagement of the station in their letter and later said that Porter had threatened legal action against anyone who "considered going over his head with their concerns."

Members of the group told The Globe and Mail earlier this year that Porter had regularly engaged in unwanted touching, initiated sexually graphic conversations, joked about how employees should sleep with donors and encouraged them to come up with pitches to "make me horny."

An independent workplace investigation was launched shortly after the letter was released and, in early June, one month after the probe was completed, Porter stepped down from his position as CEO and president.

Bailey, for one, wants more to be done.

The radio personality says she has been subject to "humiliation, injury to her reputation, integrity and dignity" as a result of her dismissal and the events leading up to it.

She is seeking $90,000 in lieu of 12 months pay, $100,000 in moral damages, $100,000 in punitive damages and $50,000 for "loss of publicity," among other things, alleging that the station violated her work contract and engaged in bad faith.

"JAZZ.FM91 has received Ms. Bailey’s Statement of Claim and denies the allegations," said the station's interim CEO Charles Cutts in a statement on Thursday.

"We continue to be committed to a collegial and harassment-free workplace. A neutral third-party investigation was previously conducted into Ms. Bailey’s allegations and JAZZ.FM91 will vigorously defend itself in the appropriate legal forum now that the matter is before the courts."

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