A hearing involving a former employee and former owner of the Deep Creek General Store in Armstrong will go forward after an Oct. 30, 2020, decision was published by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. (Google Maps)

A hearing involving a former employee and former owner of the Deep Creek General Store in Armstrong will go forward after an Oct. 30, 2020, decision was published by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. (Google Maps)

Boss offered $2K for sex, says former Okanagan cashier

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal to see matter go forward to a hearing

A former cashier of an Armstrong convenience store who claimed her boss offered her $2,000 for sex will have her case forwarded to a hearing if mediation services don’t work to resolve the matter.

The complainant, Kiyahna Smith, said she was terminated from Armstrong’s Deep Creek General Store shortly after the alleged incident. However, the respondent and former owner, Wooyoung (Kai) Joung, continues to deny the allegation and argues Smith’s performance was the sole cause for termination.

The Oct. 30 British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal decision notes both parties presented descriptions of events that are at complete odds with each other.

Smith claimed her boss sexually harassed her, created a hostile work environment and terminated her employment.

“Credibility is at issue,” the decision reads. “Essentially, Ms. Smith says Mr. Joung offered her money to have sex with her. Mr. Joung says it is a misunderstanding due to cultural differences between Korean and Canadian Culture.”

Both agree that Joung offered Smith $100 to go for lunch in August 2017. Joung said in his culture, it’s common to show appreciation toward employees by taking them out for lunch or presenting small gifts.

Joung said when he asked Smith to lunch, she responded, “Sure, I’ll have lunch with you for $200,” the report reads.

The respondents said Joung’s limited English skills prevented him from understanding Smith’s joke.

“He was confused and thought she meant she wanted him to pay her a day’s wage for going for lunch,” the report reads. “He said $200 was too much and offered $100 which is about one day of her wages. He was confused why she didn’t take the money.”

On the drive back from lunch, Smith said Joung offered $2,000 to have sex. She refused.

Denying he offered money for sex, Joung said he said something to the effect of “Lunch is worth more than $100,” the report reads. “It was worth $1,000 or $2,000.” He denied there was any sexual connotation in his statement.

READ MORE: Armstrong mom $1M richer after candy run

Smith confided in a colleague known as Ms. H. When she brought it up with Joung, Ms. H said he told her it wasn’t uncommon for a married man in Korea to pay a woman to go for lunch and perhaps engage in intercourse if both parties consent to it.

Smith noted that shortly after the incident, her hours at the store were cut.

She reported she was falsely accused of having another job with conflicting hours and wrongfully accused of stealing.

Her former boss said he only sent employees home early if the store wasn’t busy and notified the board Smith was sent home for being rude and unprofessional.

Smith denies being rude but said if it came across that way, it was because she didn’t want to keep talking about what he had done before and how he can make things better, the decision reads.

Smith was handed a termination letter at the end of September 2017, six months after she started working at the general store.

Joung’s wife said it was her idea to let the employee go, saying Smith displayed an “insincere work behaviour,” conflicting job and lack of communication.

Joung said Smith mocked his accent and made inappropriate comments and jokes. He said she was rude toward him, customers and co-workers and claimed Smith pretended to vomit when his family ate Korean food in front of her.

“I am not persuaded by the respondents’ argument that this complaint is due to a misunderstanding of Mr. Joung’s Korean culture and his limited English communication skills,” wrote tribunal member Grace Chen, noting both parties should take advantage of the tribunals’ mediation services to come to a conclusion.

The complaint will proceed to a hearing.

READ MORE: ‘Honey’ and ‘sweetie’ possibly sexual harassment in Lake Country salon

READ MORE: B.C.’s to begin counting mail-in ballots Friday, will take at least 3 days


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort general manager Paul Drummond, right, and SOS executive director Susanna Newton with some of the gifts left during the resort’s annual Toy Drive. (Peter McCully photo)
Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive in Parksville a rousing success

More than 1,200 toys, 16 bikes and $13K in cash/gift cards donated

Kwalikum Secondary School. (SD69 photo)
Schools superintendent says protocols don’t change after COVID-19 exposure at Qualicum Beach high school

Elder: ‘We were assured by the Health Authority that the school is safe’

Nurse Doreen Littlejohn takes a longterm approach in her outreach work with homelessness in Parksville Qualicum Beach, but says more needs to be done now. (Auren Ruvinsky photo)
‘Women face a much different experience on the street’: Parksville Qualicum Beach nurse

Littlejohn says community needs to be part of solution to homelessness

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course. (File photo)
Qualicum Beach golf course notified restaurant patron tests positive for COVID-19

Staff to self-monitor until Nov. 28, can continue with daily duties

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Bob Higgins pulls the gate across on the elevator built inside his home. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Island man’s expertise earns international award with home-built elevator

Experience put to use in winning contest entry for furniture and home projects

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

A fentanyl test strip is used at Vancouver Coastal Health in Vancouver, Tuesday, January, 21, 2020. The test strips will be made available to drug users to ensure that their drugs are safe and free of Fentanyl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Drug overdoses lead to 5 deaths each day in October; drug toxicity continues to increase

COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate the overdose crisis

An employee of the Adventure Hotel was taken to hospital on Nov. 20 after she confronted a customer of Empire Coffee about not wearing a mask. File photo.
Nelson hotel employee suffers heart attack after being assaulted in anti-mask incident

An accountant at the Adventure Hotel is in hospital in Kelowna

Damien Smith, with father Thomas Smith, is “frozen” with joy as he watches a special message Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds recorded for Damien’s 9th birthday on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. (Contributed)
Shuswap boy celebrates 9th birthday with family, community and Ryan Reynolds

People from around the world send birthday cards showing young Canoe resident he’s not alone

Most Read