B.C. manager ‘attacked, belittled and devalued’ black woman who complained of racism, court hears

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details, including racist and sexist slurs.

Racism caused the manager of a yacht charter in Vancouver to reject a black woman who had applied for a job, and he only caused more damage by using insults and slurs against her when she filed a human rights complaint, a British Columbia court found.

Guy Marchand and Honu Boat Charters were ordered by the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal to pay Jessica Perry a total of $3,400 for the ‘gross’ treatment he gave her during and after an interview hiring in November 2018.

“Mr. Marchand’s false, negative and racist stereotypes about Ms. Perry were a factor, indeed the driving force, in his decision not to hire Ms. Perry, and his subsequent conduct towards her,” Amber said. Prince, member of the court. wrote in a decision on Wednesday.

Marchand’s bias against Perry as a black woman and spiritualist minister was exposed in the interview, then only became more explicit in her official responses to her complaint and her comments online, Prince said.

“Mr. Marchand described Ms. Perry as one of ‘those people’, as someone with a ‘bad smell’ and a ‘rotten apple’. He also calls her ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘nigger ‘ and ‘little bitch,'” Prince wrote.

“Mr. Marchand attacked, belittled and devalued the very core of Ms. Perry’s identity.”

“Negative Assumptions, Beliefs and Attitudes”

The ruling says the discrimination began after Perry applied to be a part-time crew member for Honu Boat Charters, a job that included accommodation on a yacht. She was 33 when she responded to the job posting with an email stating that she was working part-time as a “modern day inclusive spiritual minister/educator”.

Perry told the court that Marchand seemed surprised by her appearance when she arrived for an interview and immediately began asking questions about her and her family’s background. It turns out his family has been in Canada for at least nine generations, according to the ruling.

Marchand was “too focused” on Perry’s ethnic background due to her “negative assumptions, beliefs, and attitudes about Ms. Perry as a black African-American woman,” Prince wrote.

Prince said she also believed Perry’s testimony that Marchand cut the interview short after telling him he “wouldn’t be able to hire a person of color” because his clients were mostly Chinese and Japanese. , and therefore “they are more traditional”.

British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal orders Guy Marchand and Honu Boat Charters to pay Jessica Perry a total of $3,400 for ‘gross’ treatment he gave her during and after interview hiring in November 2018. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

Perry filed his initial human rights complaint just two days after the interview. In his response, Marchand wrote that he believed Perry to be a “scam artist” and alleged that she had “a very strong unpleasant body odor”.

His son, who was present at the time of the interview and who testified in Marchand’s defense, acknowledged that there was no smell.

Marchand made “the most egregious comments about Ms Perry’s intersecting identities” after filing an amended complaint, Prince wrote.

In a response written in July 2020, Marchand wrote, “I’m upset tonight that I have to waste time with a refugee or a nigro immigrant to no avail using the system, the religion, the racist, the subject of human rights man to try and rip off honest business and take it to your advantage.”

And when Perry’s complaint attracted media attention, Marchand went online to insult her, writing comments alleging she was taking advantage of the system by “shouting[ing] ‘discrimination’ left, right, center.”

Marchand later told the court he regretted the comments he made about Perry and blamed the stress caused by the pandemic, according to the ruling.

“However, in my view, most of Mr. Marchand’s written comments about Ms. Perry are indefensible in any context. Stress is no excuse for attacking and disrespecting another’s identity. nobody,” Prince wrote.

Perry testified that she was humiliated by Marchand’s “ugly language” and said her treatment caused her lifelong pain and suffering.

As a result, Prince ordered Marchand and his company to pay Perry $1,500 for injury to his dignity, feelings and self-esteem, $1,000 in costs and $900 for expenses incurred as a result of the discrimination.