Supreme Court won't hear WestJet appeal in harassment case

OTTAWA — WestJet Airlines has lost a legal bid to put an end to a proposed class-action harassment lawsuit.

The Supreme Court of Canada refused today to hear WestJet's arguments to quash the suit launched by a former flight attendant.

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Mandalena Lewis alleges she was sexually assaulted by a pilot while on a stopover in Hawaii in 2010 and that the airline breached its anti-harassment promise in her contract.

Her lawsuit proposes to represent all current and former female WestJet flight attendants whose employment contracts included the airline's pledge.

The airline failed in the B.C. courts to scuttle the action, prompting it to argue the Supreme Court could provide clarity on whether a court or the Canadian Human Rights Commission is the proper forum for systemic sexual harassment allegations.

Following its usual practice, the high court gave no reasons for refusing to hear the case.

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