Owner of N.S. Wendy's outlet accused of failing to protect staff from assailant
Two young women who worked at a Wendy's restaurant in Cape Breton have filed lawsuits against the owner of the fast-food outlet, alleging the company failed to protect them from a supervisor who was later convicted of sexually assaulting staff members.
The civil lawsuits say both plaintiffs were minors when the alleged offences took place in 2019 and 2020 inside a Wendy's in Sydney, N.S., owned and operated by T-Roy Enterprises Ltd.
The women allege in separate statements of claim that the company did nothing when they reported being repeatedly sexually assaulted.
One of the lawsuits was filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on March 22, and the other was submitted to the court on Thursday.
The allegations have yet to be tested in court.
The company has submitted a notice of defence denying all of the allegations contained in the first lawsuit.
The women allege the supervisor continued to work with both of them after the company was told about the alleged sexual assaults and after a complaint was filed with police.
One plaintiff alleges the supervisor continued to sexually assault her until his arrest in August 2020.
Among other things, the lawsuits allege the company failed to suitably screen or train its employees and that it failed to monitor staff to "prevent and minimize the risk of sexual assault and sexual misconduct."
In its notice of defence filed June 11, T-Roy Enterprises states that the plaintiff in the first lawsuit was the subject of a number of written warnings alleging poor performance at work.
The notice says the plaintiff was fired for just cause in August 2020. It also asks the court to dismiss the court action.
The province's Public Prosecution Service confirmed Thursday that the supervisor, identified in the lawsuits as David MacDonald, has pleaded guilty in provincial court to five counts of sexual assault against five victims.
MacDonald is scheduled to be sentenced in Sydney provincial court on Sept. 21.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 16, 2021.