The BC Human Rights Tribunal found that a woman who worked as receptionist at a Esquimalt Denture Clinic was discriminated against on the basis of sex when she was fired after being sexually harassed by her boss. (Unsplash)

Receptionist sexually harassed by Esquimalt denture clinic owner awarded nearly $40,000

Human Rights Tribunal finds woman was unfairly fired on basis of sex

The BC Humans Rights Tribunal has ruled that a Victoria woman was sexually harassed and unfairly fired from her job at an Esquimalt denture clinic.

Jasmine Basic was employed as a receptionist at Esquimalt Denture Clinic Ltd. starting in October 2017, where she alleged she was sexually harassed by the clinic’s owner Andrew Lee, over roughly eight months.

Court documents from the BC Human Rights Tribunal show that Lee admitted to touching Basic’s breasts and buttocks several times but said four of those incidents were accidents and the others were “welcomed up to certain point.” He also admitted to complimenting Basic’s appearance and talking about sexual topics but said she “initiated those conversations and invited those compliments.”

In one incident, Basic said Lee slapped her on the buttocks with a magazine when she had bent over to pick up her purse. In his explanation of this incident, Lee said it was only a tap with a pamphlet. He said he would have “used his hand” to slap her buttocks if he wanted to sexually harass her.

READ ALSO: New program offers free legal advice to victims of workplace sexual harassment in B.C.

The tribunal heard of five occasions where Lee touched Basic’s breasts or looked down her shirt. Lee acknowledged doing this at least once.

In May 2018 Basic was fired by Lee’s wife, who had begun monitoring their interactions through surveillance cameras. Lee and the clinic – respondents in the human rights complaint – claim Basic wanted to break up the couple’s marriage and fabricated the allegations “motivated purely by scorn, malice and greed.”

The tribunal judge however, disagreed concluding that Basic was discriminated against on the basis of sex. She was awarded $25,000 for injury to dignity. The clinic was ordered to pay her another $1,612 for legal and other expenses and an additional $11,796 for wages lost.

“[Basic] worked under the supervision of the person who was sexually harassing her and had no other person in authority to whom she could bring any complaint about his conduct,” writes Tribunal Chair Diana Juricevic in her decision. “She was vulnerable given her age, limited job experience and education, and informal nature of her training.”

Juricevic also wrote that she accepted Basic’s description of the impact of the incident continues to have on her.

“Ms. Basic gave sincere evidence about feeling anxious and depressed,” she writes. “The stress encompassed economic stress and stress to personal relationships.”

READ ALSO: #MeToo at work – How reporting sexual harassment works and how it doesn’t


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

sexual harassmentVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Oak Bay High students do their best for COVID-19 Tour de Rock

Tour de Rock riders make socially responsible visit Friday

Sidney council signals support for recreational cannabis store

A 6-1 vote sends application forward for final approval from province

Blackberry festival moves forward with drive-thru in Metchosin

Event takes place on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

No ‘harmonious solution’ dogs on beaches in Saanich, community-led study finds

Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association present findings to council Sept. 28

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

B.C. salmon farm opponents demand answers from DFO

First Nations, conservation groups dismayed by omission of sea lice in risk assessments

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

U.S. boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

Most Read