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

City of Chilliwack survey asks for feedback on planned Rosedale skate park

The new structure will occupy a 3,000 square foot space in the middle of Rosedale Park

Newly installed art work honouring the Brett family aviation history in Chilliwack. (Anthem Properties)
WATCH: Neon sculpture beaming yellow light across downtown Chilliwack in the shape of a plane

New public artwork in Salish Plaza honours aviation pioneers, the Brett family of Chilliwack

Jag Deol, owner of Sangam Restaurant and Catering, is collecting non-perishable food items for the Chilliwack Salvation Army at both his restaurant locations. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack restaurant hosts food drive for Salvation Army

Sangam restaurant will match all donations of non-perishable food that come in

Crews work on reconstructing Spadina Avenue in Chilliwack on Friday, Nov. 13, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Sprucing up of Spadina Avenue with $2.8 million redux wrapping up shortly

Curbing, trees, landscaping, irrigation and street lighting should be complete by early December

Chilliwack’s Klim twins, Matthias and Zach, are the tall guys in the back row (Zach with a green stuffie on his shoulders, Matthias to the right), helping to sort toys at the Archway Community Services Food Bank in Abbotsford. (UFV Cascades photo)
Chilliwack’s Klim twins get involved in community service with UFV men’s basketball team

No games for the G.W. Graham grads due to COVID, but they are doing other things with the Cascades

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

The online poster for Joel Goddard, who left his Willoughby home Nov. 10, 2020, has been updated by his family and friends who received word that he’s been found.
Langley man missing since Nov. 10 found alive and safe in Abbotsford

Family of the Willoughby area man had been searching for days. Police find him at Abbotsford Airport

Most Read