B.C. contractor who shared porn video of employee ordered to pay $23K | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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B.C. contractor who shared porn video of employee ordered to pay $23K

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June 13, 2020 - 7:00 AM

A B.C. contractor who retaliated against a former lover and employee by sharing a decades-old pornographic video of her because she launched a Human Rights complaint against him has been ordered to pay the woman $23,000.

The roofing contractor – whose identity was reduced to initials in the complaint – had a lengthy affair with the woman he hired, before she launched the Human Rights Tribunal complaint alleging he coerced her to have sex with him for the promise of work. When the contractor became aware his former lover and employee had filed the complaint, he texted his work crew a link to a pornographic video the woman had made decades earlier when she was 19 years old.

In the June 10 decision, B.C. Human Rights Tribunal Member Emily Ohler said the text "constituted an act of intimidation" and was purposely sent in retaliation after the woman filed the complaint.

According to the decision the business owner and the woman – both anonymous – had a lengthy and complex affair lasting roughly six years while she worked as a roofer for his contracting business between 2009 and 2017. The decision does not say where in the province this took place.

The decision says during the proceedings the woman sought to paint the contractor as a controlling, abusive man who preyed upon her desire to work in order to exploit her for sex, while painting herself as someone who had no other options.

In contrast, the contractor sought to paint her as a manipulator who used her sexuality to exploit him for financial gain, while painting himself as a "hapless man who could not help but be seduced."

According to the decision, the woman had worked as an exotic dancer for a decade, before spending a further 10 years in the "illegal drug trade." In 2007 she got a job as a roofer, learnt the trade, and enjoyed it. The contractor had been in the roofing business since he was 15 years old, was married and had two teenage children.

In the decision, the woman alleged it was a condition of her getting work that she had sex with the contractor. She also alleged he kept wages from her, didn't give her vacation pay or statutory holiday pay, and failed to offer her an apprenticeship.

The contractor disputed the allegations and said the couple had a consensual sexual relationship.

The very lengthy decision focuses on the dynamics of the couple's work and personal relationship and how factors in their personal relationship intervened with their working relationship. The relationship was described as "messy and fraught."

A lot of the evidence used during the eight-day hearing came from journal entries the woman had written over the years during their affair.

The Tribunal member dismissed the claim the contractor exploited the woman's reliance on him and that he used sex as a condition of her working. Allegations regarding pay and an apprenticeship were also dismissed.

However, the Tribunal did find the contractor had "imposed adverse employment-related consequences" which came about because of their intimate relationship, not because of any work-related issue. The Tribunal member says the contractor didn't employ her for certain jobs and purposely didn't pick her up and take her to a job site if he became jealous or his feelings were hurt.

The Tribunal ruled the woman's gender was a factor in these consequences and therefore a breach of the B.C. Human Rights Code by discriminating against her.

The Tribunal member ordered the contractor to pay $7,500 for texting the pornographic video, $15,000 for the gender discriminating, plus lost wages, for a total of $23,140.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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