Harassment: fired after refused advances

Harassment: fired after refused advances

UPGRADE DAY

An administrative judge accuses restaurateur Guillaume Boutin, known for the controversial menu of the Pho King Bon brand, of having fired an employee who had refused his sexual advances when he was his superior in a establishment in Sainte-Adèle.

Before being talked about in the fall of 2020 for the language used on the menu of Pho King Bon located in Rosemère, Boutin was a manager in another restaurant closed today, in Sainte-Adèle, in the Laurentians.

Guillaume Boutin without a mask. According to the Administrative Labor Tribunal, he allegedly behaved inappropriately towards an employee in another restaurant.

This one was also called Pho King Bon, and Boutin was then the owner's spouse.

The Administrative Labor Tribunal had to determine whether a former waitress at this restaurant had been the victim of harassment psychology in the course of her work, as she alleged in a complaint in January 2020.

Administrative judge Guy Blanchet agreed with him last May and ordered the company to pay him $1,004 in compensation, the equivalent of two weeks of work with tips.

That's the employer who was implicated in this affair, and not Boutin directly. However, the company did not send any representative to the hearing, even though it was summoned.

Troubling story

In his decision, the judge explained that, according to the complainant, “the manager Boutin regularly approached her and […] touched her on the hip or on the arm”, which put her “very badly in the ease”.

On January 10, 2020, he would have invited colleagues for a beer at his chalet located near the restaurant. He would then have proposed to the complainant to visit the upper floor and tried to kiss her twice against her will, according to the account presented in the judgment.

“She then moves away from him, but he joins her and tackles her against the wall and proceeds to touch and kiss her by force. She then claims to have completely frozen. He then asks her to perform oral sex on him, which she refuses. He forces her to her knees so that she does what he asked her to do,” it says.

This episode would have ended when a colleague went upstairs to see what was going on. The next day, the manager terminated the worker's employment, according to the document.

The event of January 10, 2020 is “very serious conduct. We are talking about a sexual assault here,” noted the administrative judge, adding that the complainant then had difficulty reentering the labor market.

To date, no criminal charges have been filed. brought against Guillaume Boutin in relation to these allegations, according to a public register.

He refutes

In an interview with Le Journal, he completely denied the allegations and maintained that he did not have the opportunity to give his version of the facts during the proceedings.

“I did not have the opportunity to be heard and I find that really unfair. […] It is clear that I will ask for a revocation of the judgment in this case and that I will assert my rights, “said Mr. Boutin.

“The actions committed by the manager Boutin are not disputed by the latter. The employer decided not to appear at the hearing in order to give its version of the facts,” wrote the Tribunal. 

The Pho King Bon saga

< strong>DECEMBER 2019

  • The first Pho King Bon restaurant opens in Sainte-Adèle, in the Laurentians, quietly. It is now closed.

SEPTEMBER 2020

  • Another branch with the same name opened in Rosemère at the end of August and was quickly talked about because of the puns with a sexual connotation on its menu, such as the shooter Lichi MWA LKU (“lick my ass”) or Pho Kyu drink (fuck you). Some denounce a lack of respect for Vietnamese culture and language. The Office de la langue française visits the new restaurant. Co-owner Guillaume Boutin defends this strategy on several forums, before apologizing a few days later.

NOVEMBER 2020

  • The Rosemère restaurant plans for a few days to defy the government and open its dining room despite sanitary rules, before giving up.

MAY 2022

  • An administrative judge concludes that a waitress was the victim of psychological harassment while working at the Sainte-Adèle restaurant in early 2020 .

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