He now has been ordered to pay almost $99,000.
A convenience store owner who sexually harassed and offered money in exchange for sex to a former employee has now been ordered to pay $98,916.72 in lost wages and damages.
The decision from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal refers to the employee who filed the complaint as Ms. K, and the store owner as Wooyoung Joung, who owns the Deep Creek General Store, in Armstrong, with his wife Sandy Park.
Ms. K filed a human rights complaint after her boss "misused" his position of power to sexually harass her.
Ms. K, who was 21 years old at the time she started working at the store, said after she refused his offer of $2,000 to have sex with him, Joung created a hostile workplace.
Joung "ultimately fired [Ms. K] for her reaction to his conduct," the decision said. After Ms. K filed a human rights complaint about Joung's treatment, Joung "set out to harass and intimidate her by trespassing at her home in the middle of the night."
Ms. K then filed another complaint, in which she alleged that the respondents were "retaliating against her."
The harassment started in 2017. According to the decision, Ms. K testified that Joung would make "inappropriate comments" about female customers and "what he would like to do to them."
A co-worker testified that Joung "would point to a banana or a pack of mentos and ask [...] how those items aligned with penis sizes."
He also asked Ms. K if she was "sexually active with her boyfriend," the decision said.
In August 2017, Joung asked Ms. K to go to lunch with him, and she declined the invitation multiple times. He persisted and she later agreed.
Before the lunch, Joung had offered Ms. K $100 just to have the meal with him, which she declined.
On the drive back from lunch, Ms. K testified that Joung offered her $2,000 to have sex with him, said the decision.
She refused the proposition, and said she felt "shocked, insulted, disgusted, and sick to her stomach."
Joung repeatedly brought up the incident at work, Ms. K testified, and then reduced her hours and "falsely accused her of stealing."
On September 28, 2017, Joung gave Ms. K a termination letter that said she was being fired was due to her “insincere work behaviour," according to the decision.
The tribunal determined that the reason for the firing had "no basis." Rather, it found that "Mr. Joung was angry and uncomfortable that Ms. K did not respond positively to his sexual proposition."
In early 2018, Ms. K noticed that someone was sneaking onto her property. After watching surveillance camera footage, Ms. K testified that "she immediately and definitively identified Mr. Joung as the person in the photo."
Joung has now been ordered to pay Ms. K $53,916.72 as compensation for lost wages and $45,000 for "injury to her dignity, feelings, and self‐respect."
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
If you or anyone you know is facing harassment, intimidation or discrimination, you can consult support resources available across Canada. If you need immediate assistance please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital. Support is available.