Young waitress sexually harassed and intimidated by boss

Restaurant owner fired 20-year-old for rejecting his advances, then harassed her at her new place of work
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A former waitress at a Vancouver restaurant has been awarded nearly $12,000 after her boss sexually harassed her and then further harassed her after she quit and filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

Mary Clarke, 20, worked at Frenchies Montreal Smoked Meats Ltd. in the summer of 2005. She was a shy person and her mother described her as having “an undiagnosed social anxiety condition.” She applied for a job at a new Frenchies location in late June 2005. During the initial interview, the restaurant’s owner, Michel Blais, 57, commented on what a pretty girl she was and asked her if she had a boyfriend. He also told Clarke she was “making him horny.” Though Clarke claimed this embarrassed her, her didn’t respond to Blais’ behaviour because of her shyness.

Clarke returned to the restaurant for a second interview. She characterized the interview as more of a 30 to 45 minute “personal conversation,” in which Blais discussed her boyfriend and told her she should break up with him because she was a “goodie good virgin.” She noted Blais referred to his waitresses as “his girls.” She testified she said very little, except that her boyfriend was a “really nice guy.” After the interview, Clarke didn’t tell her mother what had been said but she seemed not as open as she usually was to her.