A B.C. RCMP officer is keeping his job – but transferring – following five allegations of harassment, including allegedly referring to two colleagues by degrading names and telling another that her “ovaries are ticking.”
Between Aug. 1, 2019 and May 1, 2021, Const. Corey Flodell was alleged to have assaulted a regular RCMP member. He was also alleged to have made “discourteous comments” or to have harassed three regular members and one public service employee. He was posted to “E” Division, the provincial detachment in the Lower Mainland, in the general duties section in all of the incidents.
Christine Sakiris, of the RCMP conduct board, made her decision in May, but it was only publicly released Thursday (July 27).
“Regardless of the dynamic that may or may not have existed, the days of excusing comments, such as those made by Constable Flodell, as “workplace banter” are long over. Each individual is responsible for their own behaviour.”
There is a publication ban on any information that could identify the complainants.
In the first allegation, Flodell was working in the office when Const. E.P. punched Cpl. B.T. twice in the arm, in a joking manner. Flodell intervened saying “you gotta hit them in the chest.”
While seated in a chair, Flodell rolled over toward E.P. with his hand up to demonstrate. E.P. told him not to hit her repeatedly and as Flodell reached her, he lowered his hand, making contact with her body above her clothes, at or below her belt. He allegedly said “right in the cooter,” referring to a women’s genitalia.
Sakiris said his actions were unwanted and inappropriate.
In the second allegation, Flodell allegedly said to the same constable, E.P., “Wow, you look like a wh—- tonight.” E.P., who didn’t usually wear makeup, showed up to a night shift with makeup on.
Flodell said the comment was made in jest, but Sakiris said “there is no context in which telling a female colleague that they ‘look like a wh—-’ is acceptable humour in the workplace.
The third incident said Flodell was speaking with a public service employee about his 10-year-old daughter wanting to wear makeup. The employee said there was nothing wrong with wanting to wear makeup and that she did so herself. Flodell allegedly said “only sl—- wore make up.”
Sakiris said Flodell “ought to have known that it would cause offence.”
In the fourth allegation, Flodell allegedly asked a colleague “how soon is too soon to start calling her a wh—-” in reference to a new recruit. She wasn’t around when the comments were made.
“Once again, Constable Flodell made a sexist and rude comment, while on-duty and in the workplace,” said Sakiris in her decision.
For the second, third and fourth allegations, Sakiris said his comments were rude, inappropriate and had sexist overtones.
In the final allegation, Const. A.P. started her first posting and Flodell became her field coach trainer before eventually working alongside her. Flodell started to make comments on A.P.’s gender, marital and family status, and being in her 30s with no children, allegedly asking multiple times over the course of a year: “Do you hear that? It’s your ovaries ticking”
When A.P. went out running, Flodell made comments about her shorts and sports bra to another coworker.
Initially, Flodell denied the allegations but “admitted many particulars.” In January 2023, he admitted to each allegation and particulars.
Flodell and the complainants provided a joint proposal that Sakiris ultimately imposed.
He is facing several conduct measures, including: 120 hours to be deducted from his pay; forfeiture of 80 hours of annual leave; a transfer to another detachment; writing apology letters to each of the colleagues impacted by his comments; to work under close supervision, specifically in his overall attitude and behaviour toward women in the workplace, for one year from the decision date; to complete training on preventing harassment and violence in the workplace within 30 days of the decision.
Flodell has since done online training and counselling for “significant self-reflection,” and a letter from his counsellor confirmed his efforts. He has also completed a two-hour online course in workplace sexual harassment.
Flodell can continue to work as an RCMP officer, but any future contravention of the RCMP’s Code of Conduct would be seriously reviewed and could lead to dismissal from the force.