A former employee of the Talbot Arm Motel in Destruction Bay has been awarded $5,000 after the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication said he had indeed faced sexual harassment at the hands of the motel’s co-owner Charles Eikland. Eikland is appealing the decision. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file) The co-owners of a Destruction Bay motel found by the Yukon Human Rights Board Of Adjudication to have sexually harassed an employee by pulling his pants down on several occasions in 2014, are appealing the decision to the Yukon Supreme Court. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)

Destruction Bay motel owners appeal human rights pantsing case

Talbot Arm Motel co-owners Suzanne Tremblay and Charles Eikland filed a notice of appeal July 10

The co-owners of a Destruction Bay motel found by the Yukon Human Rights Board Of Adjudication to have sexually harassed an employee by pulling his pants down are appealing the decision to the Yukon Supreme Court.

Talbot Arm Motel co-owners Charles Eikland and Suzanne Tremblay filed their notice of appeal to the court July 10, alleging that “the non-partiality of the process and commission has been compromised.”

They’re appealing a June 20 decision by the Yukon Human Rights Board Of Adjudication, in which, following a hearing before a panel of three adjudicators in May, found that former motel employee Peter Budge had his rights violated when Eikland pulled down Budge’s pants on several occasions in 2014. The board also found that both Eikland and Budge’s employer, Talbot Arm Motel Ltd., were liable for the harassment, and ordered them to jointly pay Budge $5,000 in damages.

In their grounds of appeal, Eikland and Tremblay claim that there was a “failure of due process,” and that the Yukon Human Rights Commission (YHRC) and Yukon Human Rights Panel of Adjudicators (YHRPA) were biased against them.

The two accuse “YHRC lawyers” of suppressing evidence and being “non-cooperative” when planning the hearing schedule, and the “YHRPA chair” of being biased. The bias was demonstrated, they wrote, when the chair told them during a case management conference that they “did not respect the process” and, during the hearing, “repeatedly limited our questioning.”

The notice of appeal does not name the lawyers or the chair.

Other grounds Eikland and Tremblay raise include claims that Eikland’s rights to privacy were violated because his medical details were in the board’s decision, which was publicly posted to its website, and that they were given enough help in navigating the hearing.

“We made it very clear that we were not lawyers at the onset of the hearing and could not afford to have one.… We were given limited assistance and in turn the hearing process intricacies took precedent over finding the truth.”

Eikland and Tremblay also claim that the YHRC was “not able to prove” that any sexual harassment occurred.

“One could refer to the various antics of the YHRC and the YHRPA as bullying with wide latitude in their discretion that led to unnecessary complications in the process,” they wrote.

The case is scheduled for a case management conference in September.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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