Victoria restaurant fires employee following allegations of sexual assault
Warning: This story contains descriptions of alleged sexual assaults
VICTORIA -- A Victoria restaurant says it has fired one of its staff members after it was made aware of numerous allegations of sexual assault against the man.
Chuck’s Burger Bar posted on its Instagram page on Sunday afternoon, saying its “main priority” is “to provide a safe and enjoyable experience to our staff and guests,” adding that it would work “with professionals” to investigate the allegations.
Victoria police say they are aware of the allegations and are asking anyone who wishes to report an incident to come forward.
The restaurant did not clarify the types of allegations made against its employee.
On Monday, the restaurant said the staff member had been let go.
“Our restaurant was surprised by these allegations, as they are completely inconsistent with our business practices and workplace culture,” the restaurant posted on Facebook.
“Chuck’s Burger is committed to the safety of all customers and staff, and we fully regret any harm that may have derived from the conduct of this particular former employee,” the company added. “Although the former employee denies the allegations, Chuck’s Burger has nonetheless terminated all relations with this person and is now engaged in a thorough investigation.”
Posts from several social media accounts, including one dedicated to sharing anonymous allegations of sexual and physical assaults on Vancouver Island, have since shared detailed stories about alleged assaults by the employee.
Most of the allegations come from women who say they were served by the employee at Chuck’s Burger Bar.
One post says the man lured her to his apartment, offering her and a friend cocaine.
“I remember him making out with me and pulling me into his bedroom and trying to push me towards his bed, while I was protesting the entire time,” the post reads.
Another post made by another employee complains about his inappropriate behaviour towards her several months ago — but the allegations were reportedly disregarded by the restaurant’s management.
“His predatory behaviour escalated when he started grabbing me… at work, and following me to my car in the parkade after shifts,” the post says.
“That summer I started a date-stamped journal of all the inappropriate things (he) did to me and brought it to our HR rep. Unfortunately, the owners relied on the employee for his clientele… they dismissed my concern for my own safety.”
On Monday, the restaurant said that it had received a complaint from an employee about inappropriate behaviour from the now-terminated staff member in 2019.
Chuck’s says it investigated the allegations and reprimanded the employee at the time.
“Prior to the recent allegations, in 2019 (we) received a written complaint from a staff member about unwelcome communications and advances,” said the restaurant in a statement. “Chuck’s Burger carefully listened to the complaint and immediately addressed it in accordance with the law and the highest industry standards.”
“At the conclusion of the 2019 complaint, the former employee was reprimanded and received appropriate training,” the restaurant added. “Our management team was fully surprised by the nature of the recent complaints and we are treating this matter very seriously. For clarity, please note that the 2019 complaint, although treated with the upmost [sic] respect and seriousness, did not involve serious sexual misconduct as recently alleged. Had we received any prior complaints of this nature, we would have immediately dismissed this individual.”
No one has been charged in relation to the allegations, which have not been tested in court.