Filipino workers reach settlement with Tim Hortons in human rights complaint

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  • Filipino workers who were employed at a Tim Hortons in Fernie, B.C., have settled their human rights

    complaint, according to a CBC report.

    No details were available about the amount for which the human rights complaint was settled.

    In 2013, several temporary foreign workers at the restaurant claimed that the couple who ran the

    franchise mistreated them.

    The CBC recalled that one allegation was that one of the owners took the workers' overtime money and

    threatened to have them sent home if they complained.

    Tim Hortons conducted an investigation.

    Later, Tim Hortons took away two franchises from the couple — one in Fernie and one in Southwest

    Alberta.

    Now, according to CBC,the workers have settled a complaint before the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

    Former employee Richard Pepito said he can't comment directly on the confidential settlement.

    However, Pepito indicated in the report that he is happy with the settlement.

    "I think justice has been served and we raised our voice — all the Filipinos and for the benefit of Filipino

    workers — to make sure it doesn't happen again and maybe set an example," Pepito said.

    "Even though we are foreign workers we still have rights and we deserve to be treated fairly."

    Pepito has since has moved his family to Saskatchewan. He works there at a prison and now has

    permanent resident status, according to CBC.

    The couple who owned the Tim Hortons, Pierre and Kristin Pelletier, did not comment on the

    settlement.

    The situation of the workers previously attracted the attention of the RCMP, which opened a file on it.

    The B.C. Employment Standards Branch also launched an investigation.

    Pierre Pelletier sent an open letter to local paper the Fernie Free Press in 2013 defending himself.

    In the open letter, Pelletier and his wife, Kristine wrote they wanted to "set the record straight with our

    local community."

    "We would like to express how extremely saddened and shocked we are at this recent turn of events

    and want to set the record straight with our local community," wrote Pelletier.

    "We want people to know that we have always sought to maintain and run our business with integrity.

    We have always worked hard to maintain high standards in our business practices, as we have in our

    community," the letter stated.

    Previously, Tim Hortons hired a risk mitigation firm to look into Pepito's complaints.

    The B.C. Federation of Labour called on police to investigate the case against Pelletier.

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