On Saturday, March 13, a woman, who is not employed by RCR, showed her support for those who have said they do not feel comfortable in their work environment. (Photo submitted)

On Saturday, March 13, a woman, who is not employed by RCR, showed her support for those who have said they do not feel comfortable in their work environment. (Photo submitted)

Employees stage walk-out at Kicking Horse Resort over allegations of workplace harassment

Three employees refused to show up to their shifts today over the allegations

Several female employees are refusing to work at a Kicking Horse Mountain Resort business, over allegations of workplace harassment and an unsafe workplace.

Three employees did not show up to their scheduled shifts on March 15, citing that they do not feel comfortable or safe while working.

The move comes after an internal investigation was launched into one of the managers at the resort. Several employees made allegations that they faced bullying and a toxic environment. The manager was removed for two weeks, before being reinstated to his position last Friday.

Amelia McLean, an employee at the resort who walked out on Monday, stated that at least twice the manager made unsolicited comments to her on her appearance, which she says constitutes sexual harassment, something she has expressed to upper management at the resort.

“Once, I was working, and he saw my pass hanging from my pocket and he took a good look, studied it for a second and said oh, you’re pretty hot. That was pretty early in the season and I remember going home and telling my boyfriend that I thought it was pretty weird, but I guess it’s kind of like a boys club,” said McLean.

“Another time I was just handing him something and he said ‘thanks, beautiful’, before backtracking and saying ‘thanks, employee’. So obviously he realized he had said something kind of strange and was trying to backpedal.”

The employee code of conduct at Kicking Horse defines workplace harassment as a single incident or repeated incidents of objectionable or unwelcome conduct, comment, bullying or action that the person ought to reasonably know will cause offence or humiliation to a worker.

“I’ve witnessed a few of these incidents,” added another female Kicking Horse employee, who wished to remain anonymous.

“One time Amelia was wearing a shirt and made a comment that it was cold, and he looked her up and down and said ‘yeah, maybe if you put more clothes on’.

“It’s just comments like that, that are inappropriate in general, the way he speaks.”

She added that other employees have spoken to the manager concerning language used that has made multiple people uncomfortable throughout the season.

She was not scheduled to work on Monday, or she would have participated in the walk-out.

Both employees added that it’s not just the female staff.

“The boys feel it too, especially when he came back to work, they were all checking in with us to see how we are feeling,” added the unnamed employee.

The employee added that the alleged behaviour was not limited to being directed solely at female staff.

Chelsea Orme-Williams, another employee, spoke about her experience working with a medical condition, stating that she felt humiliated when the manager told her in front of other staff that she had to let people know where she was going and when she was going to the washroom.

“In certain situations, I don’t have time to tell people where I’m going and regardless, that’s my business,” she said.

“He singled me out, opened up by saying ‘I’m not singling you out’ and in that situation, I felt embarrassed and humiliated.”

While she was not a part of the walkout, she said she would have had she been scheduled to work.

All three pointed out that this kind of behaviour is in direct violation of the employee code of conduct, which states that “every RCR [Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, which owns Kicking Horse Mountain Resort] employee is responsible and accountable for creating an organizational culture of respect by ensuring one’s behaviour is respectful and appropriate at all times and accepting responsibility for one’s actions.”

Disrespectful behaviour is defined by the code of conduct as comments, actions or gestures that are humiliating, offensive, hurtful or belittling.

All three employees said that they raised their concerns with human resources at the resort during the initial investigation and were shocked when they were abruptly informed that he would be returning to work, following a meeting and a planned apology. The three employees said that they had not heard from HR throughout the process, apart from being informed he would be returning.

In the meeting, at least one other employee walked out.

“We should not have been asked as employees to be in that meeting at 8 a.m. before work, following everyone’s concerns, people’s attitudes, the allegations, I do not consider this a safe work environment,” said Orme-Williams.

“To be forced to stand in a room with a man that has bullied you sexually harassed others, been inappropriate in his behaviour, I find that extremely difficult. I’m not surprised that people have walked out.”

All three have said that they would like to continue to work at the resort.

“The health, safety and well-being of our staff is the number one priority, we treat all incidents with care and the process is ongoing,” read a statement from the resort.

Kicking Horse declined to comment further on the situation, citing that the investigation was ongoing.

None of the allegations have been brought before the RCMP.

READ MORE: Golden’s Daley Bread Bakery opens doors

READ MORE: Kamloops man charged with forcible confinement, assault, firearms offences

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

sexual harassment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Revelstoke Mayor Gary Sulz received his COVID vaccination April 5. 
(Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Liams Lowdown: It’s time to vaccinate

All Revelstoke residents above the age of 18 can get a COVID-19 inoculation

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

(Photo: pixabay.com)
Morning Start: More human twins are being born now than ever before

Your morning start for Friday, April 16, 2021

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Firefighters battled a burning home on farmland in the north end of Vernon Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
UPDATE: Homeowner taken to hospital after Vernon home destroyed by fire

Firefighters engaged in a lengthy battle against the engulfed structure Saturday afternoon

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Members of the Okanagan Screen Arts Society received a cheque for $1,500 Thursday, April 15, 2021. The funds are to help the society’s efforts as they prepare take over operation of the Vernon Towne Cinema at the end of July. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Okanagan dealership gives local cinema a lift

Vernon Watkin Motor Ford, in business for more than 100 years, donated to the theatre with nearly as long a history

Vernon Jubilee Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over in surgical unit of Vernon hospital

The outbreak affected four staff, 10 patients and led to three deaths in just over two weeks

A group of youth in Kelowna's Knox Mountain Park are suspected as having violated the B.C. Wildlife Act by harassing a pair of nesting bald eagles with a drone Friday, April 16, 2021. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Nesting bald eagles harassed by youth-piloted drone in Kelowna

Conservation Officers are hoping to hear from anyone who witnessed the Knox Mountain incident

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Most Read