A former City of Yellowknife employee claims she was sexually harassed while at work – but city officials say they are unable to comment.
Lauren Mercredi says she was harassed by a male city employee and believes vandalism at her home on Sunday night may be connected.
In a public Facebook post, Mercredi said city managers ignored her concerns and took no action. She consequently left her job.
Photos: Scroll down to see images of the vandalism Lauren says recently took place
Mercredi says the weekend’s attack on her house and vehicles follows a confrontation with her alleged harasser in early May.
“The RCMP are involved and are being very encouraging and helpful as me and my family go through this time,” she wrote.
“I only wish I could say that I felt the same support from the City of Yellowknife who have chosen to ignore my (and others’) very serious complaints.”
Mercredi says she met with a senior HR manager at the city in January to outline her concerns in detail. She felt that nothing productive came of that meeting.
We put Mercredi’s allegations to the City of Yellowknife on Monday. We asked the city to verify some details contained in her post, asked for an outline of what action – if any – had been taken in response to Mercredi’s concerns, and asked the city to address her fear that her complaint had been ignored.
We also asked to confirm details of her employment and the meeting she says she had with senior staff in January.
The city responded: “Due to privacy legislation, the City is unable to comment on any specific incidents involving confidential matters about our employees.
“We value all our employees and provide a safe workplace in all City facilities.
“We have a conflict resolution and anti-harassment policy in place and any complaints that the City of Yellowknife receives are dealt with in accordance with our policies and procedures.”
There is no definitive connection between Mercredi’s allegations of harassment and the vandalism she has documented at her home.
However, she added: “I am a victim of sexual harassment and vandalism and the two seem awfully coincidental in their timing.”
Mercredi’s Facebook post goes into detail about the harassment she says she experienced.
“He touched me inappropriately at work several times after I told him to stop, and he texted me frequently with inappropriate things he wants to do to me sexually,” she alleged.
“I said I do not want to work with this individual because I do not feel comfortable.”
Mercredi’s post had been shared by more than 700 people at the time of writing.
“I’m disgusted that this can still happen today – I will look into this,” replied city councillor Bob Brooks. “Thank you for being brave enough to bring it to people’s attention.”
Brooks told Moose FM he has asked the mayor, Mark Heyck, to look into the allegations.
“If there’s a problem, I want to make sure this gets dealt with right away. And I do mean right away, ” said Brooks.
“Every councillor I’ve talked to is upset that this could happen, or continues to happen in this day and age.”