Claims process for CAF-DND sexual misconduct class action settlement well underway

The individual claims process component of the CAF-DND sexual misconduct class action settlement commenced on May 25, 2020, and is well underway. Individuals affected by sexual misconduct in the military workplace may submit a confidential claim for financial compensation and to participate in a restorative engagement program until the period to file a claim closes on November 24, 2021.

This settlement provides financial compensation for those who have been harmed by sexual misconduct as well and makes changes to CAF and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) policies.

The Final Settlement Agreement was approved by the Federal Court of Canada in November 2019.  It applies to people who experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or discrimination based on gender, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation while serving in the CAF, working for DND, or for the Staff of the Non-Public Funds, Canadian Forces.

Fully Support Participation

“We fully support participation in this settlement and we are committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of those who come forward,” said Deputy Minister Jody Thomas and then Chief of the Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance. In their message sent to all Defence Team members in November 2019, they also expressed hope that the settlement will help support the healing process of people who have experienced sexual misconduct.

The range of individual compensation for most eligible class members is $5,000 to $55,000. Compensation will depend on the type of sexual misconduct, an assessment of the harm suffered, and the number of class members that submit claims.

This settlement provides financial compensation for those who have been harmed by sexual misconduct as well and makes changes to CAF and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) policies. The claims process is confidential. The fact that someone has made a claim, and all of the information and documents provided by claimants will not be disclosed to claimants’ co-workers, supervisors, or DND/CAF/SNPF leadership, except with the consent of the Class member or as required by law.

Compensation

Compensation is available for incidents of discrimination and harassment, as well as more serious incidents of sexual assault. The range of individual compensation for most eligible class members is $5,000 to $55,000. Compensation will depend on the type of sexual misconduct, an assessment of the harm suffered, and the number of class members that submit claims. Class members who experienced exceptional harm may be eligible for additional amounts if they have been found ineligible for VAC benefits, and whose application for reconsideration is also denied.

In addition to the possibility of financial compensation, the settlement also provides an opportunity for individuals to share their experiences with senior CAF-DND representatives through a facilitated restorative engagement process.

Questions

If you have questions about whether the conduct that you experienced during your service or employment is covered by the settlement, or to learn more about the settlement and submit a claim, visit the class action website at www.caf-dndsexualmisconductclassaction.ca or call 1-888-626-2611. If you need legal advice concerning a possible claim in the settlement, you are entitled to receive it free of charge from class counsel as part of the settlement. Contact information for class counsel across Canada is on the class action website. If you are aware of others who may be eligible, please share this information with them.

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