A B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has awarded a woman almost $30,000 after finding the owner of a Surrey company guilty of sending her sexually harassing text messages.
Surrey-based Metro Aluminum Products and its owner Zbigniew Augustynowicz argued text messages sent to employee Lisa McIntosh did not constitute sexual harassment or discrimination.
B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Enid Marion disagreed.
“The fact that she only referred to a portion of the text messages as being sexually harassing does not recast the content of the texts, the adverse impact on her or whether, at law, the text messages constitute sexual harassment,” Marion wrote in the finding released this week.
McIntosh, a 40-year-old driver with Metro Aluminum Products, said she had been in a relationship with Augustynowicz until she found he was still married.
She then tried to break off the relationship, but continued to receive unwanted text messages from Augustynowicz.
“I find that, after she requested Mr. Augustynowicz to stop, Ms. McIntosh was subjected to repeated and unwelcome sexualized text messages,” Marion found. “The texts reveal that, after their sexual relationship had ended and Ms. McIntosh had asked him to stop making such comments, Mr. Augustynowicz repeatedly texted sexual propositions or references to her, such as ‘need a nooner’…”
Marion ordered payment of $14,493.80 in lost wages, $2,900 for expenses inucurred, and $12,500 as damages for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect.
Augustynowicz did not attend the hearing, which was held between Aug. 17 and 20 of last year.
The judgement was made public Tuesday.