'Fact is Stranger than Fiction'
Progress and Respect leave some behind and they sometimes own businesses
Mr Scott is an international business owner who has recently acquired a hotel in Sas- katchewan. The property was previously Certified and the Employees are covered by a Collective Agreement. Mr Scott does not cooperate with the Union and often has been heard yelling at the Union Representative and kicking him off the property.
Ms Kuric applied to work at the front desk of the Hotel. She had an interview with Mr Scott during which Mr Scott asked her questions about her nationality and asked if she was married. All through the interview, he blew cigarette smoke in her face. Ms Kuric was hired and was quickly promoted to full time, then to performing the night audit duties.
For the first portion of Ms Kuric’s employment, Mr Scott was living in another town and would call in often. He was rarely on the premises.
Throughout the course of her employment, Ms Kuric alleged that Mr Scott regularly swore at her, yelled at her, made inappropriate comments regarding her sex, touched her in an unwelcome manner, and threatened her. The events culminated in Mr Scott insisting that Ms Kuric return to work early and against Doctor’s advice after she had been assaulted at work. Ms Kuric filed a grievance and an Arbitration ensued.
Mr Scott participated initially in the Arbitration process and had representation. He was belligerent during the process and insisted that he was not going to speak to the Union Repre- sentative. In the lead up to the Arbitration, Mr Scott’s representatives suddenly withdrew and gave notice that they were no longer acting on his behalf. Multiple calls were made to Mr Scott and numerous letters were sent. The Union submitted it’s written argument and the Board ordered that any submission on behalf of the Employer needed to be received by a certain date. No submission was received. Mr Scott failed to participate further with the Arbitration process and it eventually went forward without an Employer representative at all.
For the first while after Ms Kuric was hired, Mr Scott communicated exclusively by phone. He would call her and was de- grading and intimidating from the start. Ms Kuric described Mr Scott’s language as getting progressively worse – he started with using the f*word in almost every sentence and then moved on to more personal attacks as time went by. He would regularly call Ms Kuric ‘stupid’, ‘lazy’ and a b***h’ while accusing her of not looking after his business. Mr Scott talked to a lot of staff that same way, but Ms Kuric was the one that dealt with the majority of his calls as it was part of her job to answer the phone. Mr Scott was fluent in Portuguese and cursed at her in that language. Ms Kuric understood the language and could tell what he was saying to her.
Unwelcome Touching/ Comments
On New Years Eve, Mr Scott visited the hotel while Ms Kuric was working. He was leaving and Ms Kuric needed to lock the door behind him. She followed Mr Scott to the door and he turned around quickly, grabbed her and kissed her on the lips ‘using his tongue’. Mr Scott squeezed Ms Kuric so hard that she said she could not breathe. She finally managed to escape his grasp and his only response was to laugh, wave at her and leave.
Mr Scott began spending more time at the Hotel and was seen constantly yelling at Ms Kuric, other staff and patrons. He appeared to enjoy degrading others. Ms Kuric felt that she could not do anything right.
Onenight, Mr Scott came to the front desk while Ms Kuric was working. He had a woman on his arm and he told Ms Kuric she should join them in his suite for a ‘threesome’. He told her that once she had a man like him, she would never sleep with another man. He proceeded to invite several other employees to join them in his suite.
Mr Scott had a tendency to hire employees that were down on their luck,let them live in the Hotel but not provide them with any pay. The Hotel had previously had a normal amount of turnover but under Mr Scott’s management had nearly 100% turnover.
One night, Ms Kuric was working the front and a couple of customers wanted to cash out small VLT tickets. As she was getting the change, the men assaulted and robbed her. The police came and told her she could call an ambulance and go to the hospital. Mr Scott came to the scene and began feeling Ms Kuric all over and saying that there was nothing wrong with her. During the robbery, a quarter was left on the counter and Mr Scott became upset about that. He did not want Ms Kuric to go to the Hospital.
The ambulance came and Ms Kuric went with them against Mr Scott’s wishes. Mr Scott was upset as he would have to look after the desk and called Ms Kurica ‘f***g b***ch’.
Ms Kuric was treated for whiplash injuries from being knocked around. She gave the Employer a note advising that she could not work for two weeks.
Mr Scott called Ms Kuric the next day and asked her to work. Ms Kuric told Mr Scott she was on WorkersCompensation and had to attend Doctor’s appointments. Mr Scott asked her to come in and said that he would pay her under the table. He said that most Doctor’s appointments take only half an hour and then told her to come in ‘right f***ng now!’
The Union read a letter from Mr Scott that they received in response to the grievances filed. In the letter Mr Scott said Ms Kuric was a vicious malicious liar and he threatened to sue the Union for 4.8million dollars if Ms Kuric did not withdraw the grievance. He threatened to up his suit to 10 million dollars should the matter go public.
Ms Kuric was not able to receive her record of employment from Mr Scott and Mr Scott refused to allow the Union Representative on the property to resolve the matter. Ms Kuric did not receive the proper pay and when she called to figure it out with the payroll clerk, Mr Scott inter- cepted the call and hung up on her.
The Board accepted the evidence of Ms Kuric, that in the course of her employment Mr Scott subjected her to repeated harassment which was unwelcome, humiliating, insulting and degrading. They found Mr Scott’s conduct on New Years Eve was sexual harassment and that his conduct with respect to offering a ‘three- some’ was clearly inappropriate and constituted sexual harassment. Other incidents reported by Ms Kuric clearly was verbal harassment.
The Board concluded that the actions of Mr Scott with relation to the comments made about Ms Kuric’s sex breached the Human Rights Legislation as well. Further they concluded that Mr Scott’s actions had breeched the Occupational Health and Safety Act.The grievance was allowed and penalty was to be discussed in further proceedings.