Resort owner fired workers for being white


A human rights tribunal in British Columbia awarded $173,000 to seven resort employees after their employer discriminated against them for being white.

Spruce Hill Resort and Spa owner Kin Wa Chan pressured Caucasian resort staff into quitting or dismissed them outright so he could replace them with Chinese workers “to reduce labour costs”, the tribunal found.

Diana Juricevic, tribunal chair, ruled Chan’s actions constituted racial discrimination.

“I find that Mr. Chan said words to the effect: ‘Chinese workers are better and cheaper than white workers’ and ‘Chinese workers do not have to be paid holiday pay or overtime,’” Juricevic wrote in her decision.

An award of $62,000 went to former HR manager Clare Fast who had worked at the resort for 20 years. Fast claimed her management tasks had been delegated to an ethnically Chinese student who had no HR experience.

Melonie Eva, a former bookkeeper at the resort and the lead complainant, also lodged sexual harassment charges against Chan. Eva testified that, on a business trip to Hong Kong in 2016, Chan had booked only a single hotel room, insisting they shared and suggesting: “In China, we do things the Chinese way.” Eva was eventually given her own room after an argument ensued.

The woman was compensated $18,000 for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect, on top of the $24,000 she received for lost income.


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