PHOTO OF THE FILE: A B.C. The Human Rights Court rejected a human rights complaint against Safeway after an employee told a client a sexual joke.
A decision by Safeway's management to provide an apology e-mail and a $ 250 gift voucher was enough compensation for a customer who told a employee a bad joke and sexual joke, according to a recent poll. Decision of the Court of Human Rights.
The ruling says the incident occurred in mid-October 2017 when Brianne Duke and a family member were shopping at Kensington Square Safeway in Burnaby.
Duke said she was approached by an employee who told her, "I have an inappropriate joke to tell you."
She said she told several jokes, one of which was "What does a late prostitute say? I'm cumin. "
Soon after the incident, a Duke representative contacted the store owner – Sobey & # 39; s West Inc. – describing the incident as "inappropriate and unprofessional." The letter writer requested that Duke receive a gift certificate of $ 250 and apologize publicly to all companies. social media accounts.
Sobey answered, asking for more details so they could investigate. After receiving this information, Sobey identified the employee, who admitted counting the "joke" while holding a container of seasoning cumin.
The male employee said he was stocking up the seasoning rack when he asked a number of customers and other employees if he could tell an inappropriate joke.
According to the court, Sobey punished the employee and, two weeks after the incident, sent an apology to Duke via e-mail and a $ 250 gift card.
Before the card arrived, Duke contacted Sobey's to confirm that the card was on the way and ask if the employee was still employed at the store. She said she was not comfortable shopping in that place if he was there.
On the same day, Duke filed a complaint with the court alleging that she was being discriminated against on the basis of sex (Section 8 of the BC Human Rights Code).
While Sobey claimed that the events did not constitute discrimination, McCreary dealt with the case under section 27 (1) (d) (ii), which allows the court to dismiss a complaint when pursuing it does not favor the purposes of the code.
"I acknowledge that Sobey seeks a determination that events do not amount to discrimination under the code, but for the purposes of this analysis I assume, without deciding, what they do," McCreary wrote.
However, McCreary wrote that Sobey investigated promptly, confirmed that the incident had occurred and provided a gift certificate and an apology.
"Parties are encouraged to deal with possible complaints as quickly as possible to ensure that, if there is discrimination, they will be resolved as soon as possible," she wrote. "Sobey seems to have done it here."
Therefore, the complaint was rejected.
Duke told the Postmedia News "I am completely fine with the decision and I am glad that it was at least recognized as sexual harassment, and I am happy with the compensation offered by Sobey and I consider the matter resolved."