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.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press Media file
Port Hardy RCMP on the hunt for porta-pottie arsonist

The porta-potties were lit on fire early in the morning on June 13

Eke Me-Xi students enjoy a field trip to Malcolm Island. (Submitted photos)
Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre takes field trip to Malcolm Island

Once at Bere Point, students made themselves at home in the day-use area

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read