A former employee of the Talbot Arm Motel in Destruction Bay has been awarded $5,000 after the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication found in his favour. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Former Destruction Bay motel employee awarded $5k in human rights pantsing case

The Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication found that Peter Budge was pantsed up to five times by his boss, Charles Eikland, in 2014

A former employee of a motel in Destruction Bay has been awarded $5,000 after the Yukon Human Rights Board of Adjudication found that his boss had violated his rights by repeatedly pulling his pants down.

In a decision dated June 20, the board wrote that it found former Talbot Arm Motel employee Peter Budge had indeed faced sexual harassment at the hands of motel co-owner Charles Eikland, who pulled down Budge’s pants on several occasions from May to September 2014.

Budge originally filed a complaint with the Yukon Human Rights Commission in 2015 over the pantsing incidents and also said that the motel, and by extension, its co-owners Eikland and Suzanne Tremblay, were complicit in the harassment by doing nothing to stop it.

He said that the harassment started after he returned to work following a serious car accident that left him on pain medication and with partial mobility in one of his arms.

Eikland and Tremblay denied the allegations and represented themselves when the complaint was heard before the board in Whitehorse in May.

In its decision, the board, consisting of chair Penelope Gawn and members Karen Keenan and B. Bruce Warnsby, wrote that it found Budge’s testimony largely credible, although it found that he “appeared to have a tendency to exaggerate his allegations to an extent that made them improbable and difficult to believe.”

Although it found that Eikland did pull Budge’s pants on several occasions, the board wrote that Budge’s assertion that the pantsing happened daily strained credibility. Witnesses who testified at the hearing only saw between two to five incidents, the board wrote.

The board also believed Tremblay’s evidence that she was unaware of the pantsing incidents and that she would have put a stop to them if she had known.

While it believed Eikland’s testimony that he found the allegations distressing, it did not believe his assertion that he only tried to pull down Budge’s pants once, if at all. It also believed that based on testimony from other witnesses, Eikland was known for joking around with staff.

“Given these circumstances, it is quite possible that the respondent Eikland did not know or did not fully appreciate that his conduct was unwelcome,” the board wrote. “However, he was not merely a co-worker but was an employer as one of the two owner/managers of the motel. The board finds on a balance of probabilities that Eikland certainly ought to have known that his pulling down or attempting to pull down an employee’s pants was unwelcome.”

The commission had submitted that Budge should be awarded $20,000 while Eikland and Tremblay argued that, if any award should be given, it should be $1,500.

Budge had requested $50,000 and a written apology.

The board ultimately awarded Budge $5,000, with both Eikland and Tremblay liable, and said that it did not have the power to order a written apology.

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

Just Posted

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for June 14

Frostbitten big toe finds new home in Dawson City’s infamous cocktail

Nick Griffiths, who ran the Yukon Arctic Ultra in 2018, donated two toes to the Downtown Hotel.

Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation suspends deputy chief after impaired driving charges

Deputy Chief Cheryl Charlie was charged June 6. Councillor Darius Elias has also been suspended.

Firefighters called to Whitehorse Elementary School over code violations

Door that occasionally wouldn’t open from inside among many issues that need attention, parent says

Give Hope Wings fundraiser launches Saturday from Pitt Meadows

Flying marathon will benefit low income Canadians needing flights for medical treatment

Driving with Jens: Keeping pets safe in your vehicle

In my last column I discussed ways to avoid the tragedy which… Continue reading

Yukonomist: Whitehorse Troughbillies

Yukon could take its hot rocks to the bank

ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge spurs mountain bike races in Whitehorse

“I have to remind myself to do that sometimes – just slow down and look around.”

Whitehorse FC Premier U15 boys finish fourth despite injuries and short bench at Slurpee Cup

“They worked super hard and were more hungry for the win than the other team”

2019 Yukon Gymnastics Championships showcase Whitehorse talent

“It was a nice way to end off our season”

U Kon Echelon holds multi-stage Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships

The 2019 Yukon Energy Road Cycling Championships were held in and around… Continue reading

Cyclists race in the rain at Southern Lakes Yukon GranFondo

‘It was a good number for the conditions’

Most Read