Former Edmonton construction employees allege company disregarded sexual misconduct in ‘poisoned’ workplace

A woman doing deparments

Five women have filed a lawsuit against Coventry Homes, a prominent Edmonton home construction company, seeking a total of $6.2 million in damages. The women allege that the company partner, Robin Nasserdeen, engaged in sexual misconduct, creating a toxic work environment where employees faced harassment and workplace safety concerns were ignored. The claims accuse Coventry Homes of failing to investigate the allegations against Nasserdeen, even after he was charged with sexual assault by the Edmonton police. The plaintiffs claim that those who expressed concerns about Nasserdeen’s behavior were pushed out of the company. The allegations include harassment, sexual harassment, unwanted sexual solicitation, bullying, and discriminatory conduct.

Two of the women claim that they were sexually abused by Nasserdeen individually and hold the company responsible for allowing his misconduct. The other three plaintiffs allege that they were terminated for raising concerns about Nasserdeen’s behavior and the company’s handling of the allegations. Nasserdeen, who is a primary shareholder in Coventry Homes, denies the allegations made against him. Coventry Homes has declined to comment on the matter.

Matthew Fisher, Senior Partner at Lecker & Associates, who specializes in employment law, believes that if the allegations are proven, this case could set a precedent for workplace misconduct cases in Canada. He emphasizes the importance of companies ensuring that all employees, regardless of seniority, adhere to the rules.

It should be noted that none of the allegations, whether civil or criminal, have been proven in court, and no statements of defense have been filed in the civil suits as of the time of the article. Nasserdeen’s criminal trial is set to take place in February 2024 and may have implications for the civil findings of liability.

The lawsuit was initiated by Jessica McNabb, who reported being sexually assaulted by Nasserdeen in March 2021. McNabb alleges that Coventry Homes failed to provide a safe workplace and constructively terminated her employment. Four additional lawsuits were filed by other women, all represented by the same lawyer, Aaron Levitin.

The Plaintiff Caitlin Garrioch, claims to have been coerced into having sex with Nasserdeen under threat of termination. Garrioch alleges years of harassment and control by Nasserdeen, including the sharing of explicit content, pressuring her to visit a sex shop, and threatening her with spreading sexual rumors if she did not comply.

Other plaintiffs include Tessa Thomson, who alleges constructive dismissal after raising concerns about Nasserdeen’s conduct, Anne Guenther, who claims termination without cause after expressing fear of Nasserdeen, and Kaitlyn Ross, who alleges termination for criticizing the company’s support of Nasserdeen and raising concerns about employee safety.

The case is significant as it sheds light on workplace misconduct and the need for companies to take action to ensure safe environments and investigate complaints. The women hope their claims will hold Coventry Homes accountable and set precedents for other companies in addressing similar issues.

Without a doubt, employment lawyers are your best resource to resolve workplace conflict. If you are currently experiencing a workplace dispute, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a trusted and experienced source. Lecker & Associates is a team of expert Toronto employment lawyers with over 35 years of experience representing employees. Our reputation for excellence is demonstrated by being nominated four times as ‘Top 3 Employment Lawyers in Toronto.’ 

Call us at 416.223.5391 or complete our contact form to book a consultation.