Vulnerable waitress subjected to harassment

Nova Scotia woman fired after filing sexual harassment charges against her boss
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today

A Nova Scotia woman was subjected to sexual harassment over a period of several years at the restaurant where she worked, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Board of Inquiry has found.

Danielle Bennett, of New Minas, N.S., worked as a waitress at Hau’s Family Restaurant from March 2000 until June 2004. She also worked at a bar called JR’s Lounge. Both businesses were owned by Michael and Bonnie Tan. Like several other employees, Bennett sometimes borrowed money from the Tans, to be paid back at 30 per cent interest. Bonnie Tan said she often gave her advances to buy things like cars, televisions, eyeglasses and groceries.

Over the course of her employment, Michael would sometimes slap her behind or lift her shirt to look at her behind and say, “just checking you out.” She said he often walked into her and touched her breast. He also made comments to her about women’s looks and he could hook her up with a young man. She repeatedly told him that behaviour was unacceptable but eventually accepted it as part of the job, which she didn’t want to lose. At one point Bonnie asked her if he had touched her and he stopped for a while but it soon resumed.