Surrey grocery store ordered to pay $16,000 to ‘bullied’ employee

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 found him to be "articulate, thoughtful and credible."

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. The tribunal heard his shifts were reduced as Sumal and his sons became increasingly involved in the business during a downturn.

Garneau testified he was called things like "faggot, fatty, idiot, retard, and f—ing stupid" by his bosses’ sons, Sutej and Inder.

"He says that Inder would harass him and constantly ask him in a parroting way ‘are you gay, are you gay, are you gay,’" Sharma noted in his reasons. "He says there was malice in the name-calling and that it occurred in front of employees and customers and made him feel ‘less than human.’"

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."

"I find Inder Sumal and Sutej Sumal largely responsible for discriminating against Mr. Garneau," Sharma decided. "I find Shingara Sumal, as the owner and operator of Buy-Rite, failed in his responsibility to ensure a harassment-free and safe work environment."

Shingara Sumal could not be reached for comment.

tzytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

Surrey lotto winner plans Disney trip and aims to be ‘responsible’ with winnings

Local dad Simon McNeil bought ticket at grocery store in North Delta

Surrey Councillor Laurie Guerra resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says her resignation is effective Nov. 12

‘Iron Road West’ launches this Friday from Cloverdale rail station

Illustrative history on B.C. railways is White Rock author Derek Hayes’ 18th book

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Surrey Mounties investigate drive-by shooting in Fleetwood

It happened Monday afternoon in the 8000-block of 153A Street. Police say no victim has been located.

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

B.C. cheese linked to 5 E. Coli cases

People are asked to throw out or return ‘Qualicum Spice’ cheese

Hockey legends come to B.C.

Greats including Bossy, Dionne, Hawerchuk, Howe, Lafleur and Parent at Langley Events Centre

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

Most Read