Grocery store ordered to pay $16K for bullying worker

SURREY – A grocery store supervisor who claims his employer’s sons bullied him at work has been awarded $15,936 by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

 

Kyle Garneau worked at Buy-Rite Foods in Whalley and filed his complaint against Shingara Sumal, Sutej Sumal and Inder Sumal last September, alleging he was discriminated against under provisions of Section 13 of the Human Rights Code. The hearing was heard in April, in Vancouver. The respondents didn’t attend and Garneau was the only witness.

 

Tribunal member Parnesh Sharma ordered the Sumals to pay Garneau $936 for lost wages and $15,000 "as compensation for injury to his dignity, feelings and self-respect."

 

Garneau testified the incidents occurred at the Buy-Rite grocery store at 9528 120th Street, operated by Shingara Sumal. The store has since closed. Garneau was a supervisor and earned minimum wage. Garneau testified he was called things like "faggot, fatty, idiot, retard, and f–ing stupid" by his bosses’ sons, Sutej and Inder.

 

Garneau testified that the comments were hurtful, frequent and unprovoked, and that he repeatedly told Sumal and his sons the name-calling was hurtful and offensive and asked them to stop.

 

But whenever he confronted them, he testified, he’d be laughed at and asked, mockingly, "What’re you gonna do about it?’" Garneau claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, but produced no medical reports to support this. He also said he became "very depressed and suicidal."

 

Shingara Sumal could not be reached for comment.

 

tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com