Claims period for CAF-DND sexual misconduct class action settlement to end on November 24, 2021

October 18, 2021 -  Defence Stories

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Claims period closes on November 24, 2021 CAF-DND sexual misconduct class action settlement 1888-626-2611

The success of the Defence Team and the missions of the CAF depend on the trust and teamwork of military and civilian alike and that is directly linked to the Defence workplace and culture. Sexual misconduct is inconsistent with CAF-DND values and ethics and is a problem that is being taken very seriously. This settlement is an important part of this commitment.

The individual claims process component of the CAF-DND sexual misconduct class action settlement is closing soon: the final day to submit a claim is November 24, 2021. Current and former CAF members, and current and former employees of DND and the SNPF, CF, who experienced sexual misconduct in the military workplace may submit a confidential claim for financial compensation and apply to participate in a Restorative Engagement program.

The Final Settlement Agreement was approved by the Federal Court of Canada in November 2019 and the claims process began on May 25, 2020. The Final Settlement Agreement 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.

The protection of privacy is important, and 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.

This settlement provides financial compensation for those who have been harmed by sexual misconduct and makes changes to CAF and Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) policies. 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 with PTSD or other diagnosed mental or physical injuries directly arising from sexual assault or sexual harassment may be eligible for additional amounts. In the case of a CAF class member, these additional amounts are only available if they are ineligible for VAC benefits and their application for reconsideration is also denied. DND/SNPF class members do not need to apply for VAC benefits, unless they also have CAF service.

All class members interested in participating in Restorative Engagement must submit an Individual Application/Claim Form to the Administrator by November 24, 2021. Class members can request to participate in Restorative Engagement whether or not they request or receive financial compensation and regardless of the findings regarding their claim. Those class members who have already submitted a claim may also modify their claim to express interest in Restorative Engagement by contacting the Administrator.

The Restorative Engagement program provides flexible options for class members to share their experiences, knowledge and understanding of sexual misconduct in the DND and CAF. Class members can share either directly with representatives from the institution or in other indirect ways. Practitioners who have experience and training in restorative approaches facilitate participation in the program. The restorative practitioner will accommodate class members’ needs and choices as much as possible. Participation in, and information shared within the Restorative Engagement program will have no impact on claims for financial compensation.

The Restorative Engagement team consults with external experts on the design of the program, people affected by sexual misconduct, Defence Advisory Groups, and other stakeholders both inside and outside the Defence Team. The program is expected to launch in the fall of 2021.

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 or call 1-888-626-2611. If you are not sure you experienced sexual misconduct, you can call a support counsellor at the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre.

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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