Women say OPP pays them less, treats them worse than male co-workers

Female office workers at the Ontario Provincial Police have filed a human rights complaint saying they face discrimination and lower pay than their male counterparts.

Human rights tribunal heard case last week, will resume in April

A human rights complaint filed against the Ontario Provincial Police claims female employees face gender-based discrimination and are paid as much as $40,000 less than men doing the same work. (Andrew Lupton/CBC)

Eighty-four women who work for the Ontario Provincial Police say they are treated worse and paid much less than male police officers.

They are civilian employees who work in accounting, human resources, information technology and other departments in OPP offices all across the province.

They have filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and had their first hearing last week. The next date is scheduled for April.

​Amanda Weaver, the vice-president of the Civilian Association of Managers and Specialists, says her members deal with the male-dominated culture at the OPP every day.

She says it's common for the woman in the room to be asked to get coffee, dial a phone number for a conference call or receive a comment on her appearance.

"Things like that occur all the time. And it's quite ingrained that we don't necessarily always realize it until after the fact. So, there's a lot of that going on," says Weaver.

OPP Provincial Media Coordinator Sgt. Carolle Dionne says any specific complaints of harassment or discrimination revealed during the human rights hearings will be investigated. (Sgt. Carolle Dionne/OPP)

She also claims that her members make much less than a uniformed officer—most of whom are men—assigned to do the same kind of administrative work.

"Sometimes what happens is a job posting goes up for a uniform manager, who's one of our male counterpart group, or a civilian manager/specialist. Same exact job posting, except the uniform manager will make $30,000 or $40,000 more," she says.

Weaver says raising the pay of her members to match their male police counterparts would be a "drop in the bucket" for the OPP.

The provincial police says it can't comment on the specific claims, because the case is currently before a human rights tribunal.

"We do acknowledge that we have to remain vigilant to prevent and properly correct any instances of harassment and/or discrimination in the workplace," says OPP spokesperson Staff Sgt. Carolle Dionne.

She says that any specific complaints that arise out of this human rights tribunal will be investigated.