Sex abuse case highlights vulnerability of workers on visas

Singled out by employer, Mexican woman was forced into sex acts under threat of being sent home
By Susan Noakes, CBC News Posted: Jun 30, 2015 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 30, 2015 12:21 PM ET
OPT meets with Cathy Kolar of Legal Assistance of Windsor. A human rights tribunal awarded her $150,000 in a case involving sexual abuse and discrimination. (Joan Leishman/CBC) 
The experience of a Mexican woman, known as OPT, is a poster case for the terrible situation women face when confronted by abuse and the built-in limitations of Canada's temporary foreign workers program.
Brought in from Mexico to work in a fish-packing plant in Wheatley, Ont., she soon was singled out by her employer for special attention, separating her from the other women.
First there were inappropriate remarks, then touching, then he threatened to send her home unless she performed sex acts. He had taken her passport away and she was afraid. Another woman working for the same employer was sent back to Mexico after refusing his advances.
A human rights tribunal would find both women were exposed to sexual solicitation, sexual harassment and discrimination in employment.