Peter A Allard School of Law

Farris Lecture with Professor Bethany Hastie - Workplace Harassment & Bullying: Examining the Role of Intentional Infliction of Mental Suffering Claims in Employment Contexts


Farris LLP


Event description:

Workplace harassment has become a focal point for employment law in recent years. Alongside developments in occupational health and safety law and human rights law, the tort of intentional infliction of mental suffering (IIMS) has been utilized as a claim to redress workplace harassment, particularly in wrongful or constructive dismissal suits. This presentation evaluates the use of claims for IIMS in the employment context, with a view to exploring whether and how the tort of IIMS may be an effective tool to seek redress for workplace harassment and bullying. Drawing on a set of identified case law in Ontario and BC, this presentation will explain and analyze how the elements of this tort operate in the context of workplace harassment claims, including what counts as tortious conduct in this context, the requisite intent a plaintiff must establish under this tort, and what kinds of injuries may be compensated for through an IIMS claim in the employment context.

Lecture 5-6 pm
Reception 6-7 pm

  • There is no cost for this event.
  • We kindly ask that you RSVP promptly and by March 21, as space is limited.
  • This lecture has been approved by the Law Society of B.C. for one hour of 2022 Continuing Professional Development credits.

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Dr. Bethany Hastie is an Associate Professor at the Peter A Allard School of Law, and a Wall Catalyst Scholar (2022-2023) at the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. Dr. Hastie researches in the areas of labour, employment and human rights law. She is the recipient of numerous research grants, including a SSHRC Insight Grant, CBA Law for the Future Fund research grant, and BC Law Foundation Legal Research Fund grant. Dr. Hastie’s research has appeared in an array of legal and interdisciplinary academic journals, including the Osgoode Hall Law Journal, McGill Law Journal, and Canadian Journal of Law and Society. Dr. Hastie’s research on the role of intentional infliction of mental suffering in employment suits is funded by the Farris Endowment.

This endowment was established by Farris LLP to commemorate the firm's 100th anniversary, honouring the memory of two distinguished partners of the firm: Mr. C. Francis Murphy, QC and Mr. Peter W. Butler, QC. The fund provides an annual grant to reward excellence in teaching and research in business law and advocacy by a member of the Faculty. Part of the annual grant supports a public lecture by the recipient faculty member to interested practitioners, enhancing the quality of interaction between the academic and practicing legal communities in British Columbia.


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