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

Glitter is a plastic that gets into places it should not and is part of the growing micro-plastics environmental problem. (Wikimedia Commons)
LETTER: Give gifts that stand the test of time, Langley student suggests

A school assignment got a local student thinking about the enviromental impacts of gift giving

Douglas Park Community Elementary administrative assistant Kim Langford has been instrumental in the school’s food programs and event takes extra food out into the community, feeding local street people. To prevent waste, she also forged links with local farms which take excess food not suitable for people for their farm animals. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley City administrative assistant finds food builds bonds with students and families

Kim Langford used to work in banking and accounting. She finds a better rate of return in education

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judge ponders case of alleged conflict over Langley Township council donations

The mayor and two sitting councillors could be removed from office

Brookswood Starbucks manager Sonja Olsen posed for a photo on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 at the store located at 40th Avenue and 200 Street with some of the many cards for seniors her customers have filled out (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Christmas cards for seniors idea by Brookswood Starbucks takes off

Idea is to make the holidays a little less lonely for older people in care homes during pandemic

Readers enjoy the letters to Santa from local children. Here’s one from a previous Christmas. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley’s community newspaper wants local kids letters to Santa

Children’s letters to the St. Nick could be featured in our annual special Christmas section

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

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

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack mother upset about son’s alleged suicide attempt after hospital discharge

Rhonda Clough said 34-year-old son suffering with bipolar disorder should have been kept in hospital

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read