The company that operates the Minto Mine is entirely denying the allegations of wrongful dismissal, harassment and other misdeeds contained in a lawsuit filed by a former employee.
In a statement of defence filed with the Yukon Supreme Court on Oct. 29, Minto Explorations Ltd. calls the allegations from former exploration manager Nikolett Kovacs malicious and false.
Kovacs filed suit in mid-October claiming she was wrongfully dismissed in May 2021 after just over three years with the company. Her statement of claim also contained allegations of a hostile work environment, racism and harassment that were condoned by the company.
The Oct. 29 statement from Minto Explorations denies the claims and says Kovacs’ termination was the result of an “ongoing personality conflict” with another employee and a restructuring that made her job unnecessary.
“In an effort to secure additional payments from the defendant, under the cloak of litigation privilege, the plaintiff has made malicious and false allegations of harassment and racism against the defendant and its chief executive officer. The allegations are deserving of sanction by this honourable court through an award of special costs,” the statement of defence reads.
The mining firm says Kovacs was terminated lawfully and they are under no further financial obligations to her.
The statement of defence also refers to Minto’s respectful workplace policy that they say was in place at all material times. The company also says that Kovacs never raised any allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination or racism while employed at Minto.
They note that a complaint by Kovacs against a co-worker was received in December 2020. Minto says the complaint was “in the nature of personal harassment and bullying”. The statement of defence says this complaint did not involve allegations of sexual harassment or racially derogatory comments.
Minto also denies Kovacs’ claims that her intellectual property is still in use by the mining firm.
“At no time did the plaintiff, as part of her employment contract, attempt to negotiate any provision relating to intellectual property belonging to her,” their statement of claim reads.
None of Kovacs’ allegations or Minto Explorations’ arguments against them have been heard or proven in court.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org