Dear Valued Customers and Friends,
I am late in posting this defense because I was waiting for legal advice. Unfortunately, I found out that very few lawyers in the whole country know about this new age of social media.
After reviewing all the facts, evidence, statements, and security videos of the incident, I would like you all to know that there was nothing wrong done on our part or our employee’s part in this situation.
Here is what I found after doing due diligence and an exhaustive investigation.
The employee involved made a gaffe. He recognized what he said can be misinterpreted. He immediately apologized to the accuser. I sincerely apologized on my behalf and the business to the accuser in person, and I promised to take disciplinary action.
The accuser clearly demanded from me to fire the employee. In our opinion or in the opinion of any legal expert, this punishment would be construed as too harsh and by far, outweighs the innocent mistake.
Of course, we believe in zero tolerance to any harassment.
Because this was a gaffe, and we know the employee to be honest, we did not see it fit to fire him. Furthermore, we have heard nothing but kind comments from our customers and our staff about this young man. I can assure you, I as the owner and operator, have never heard any negative comments about this employee from staff, customers, or police.
Furthermore, the security videos justify our decision not to take drastic action against him. He led the accuser to the washroom facility. He did his job. The video does not show him to starring. While the accuser was using the facility, the employee was only watching the area. He was far from the door, at least 16 feet, which is partially separated by a wall. To add to that, he wasn’t even looking in the direction of the washroom. Once the accuser was finished, he respectfully walked her out. He went back to finish his task on the floor. We do not see any other interaction between the two of them.
This protocol is required because the washroom is located in our receiving area, and this is also where our office and staff room happen to be located. This can also be a very hectic area where large quantities of goods are moved around with the use of heavy machinery. Therefore, it is our duty to ensure the safety and security of our staff and customers, including the accuser.
The young man was homeless. He is being supported by everyone in our store to get on his feet. Firing him would have ruined his chance in sharing in the privileges we all enjoy. We have given him an opportunity to make something out of his life.
This young, indigenous man has had very little experience dealing with the public. This is his first chance to hold a permanent job. Please tell me to fire him if you do not agree with my decision.
We are lucky to live in a culture that promotes humour and self-deprecation. We are also fortunate to be living in a country that is governed by the rules of law; where citizens are passionate about protecting the rights of all peoples. Innocent until proven guilty, let us not forget.
I do not know if the accuser knew about all these facts. All I know is that she wouldn’t settle for anything less than an immediate dismissal.
Without her wishes being complied with, she and her fiancée went on social media and made us look like criminals who support the sexual harassment of women. We understand with her being angry to take such an action.
What we don’t understand is how so many ignorant comments and attacking reviews have been posted. Ignorant people that knew nothing about the facts and knew nothing about us. People who knew nothing about the law and the principle of being innocent until proven guilty. Instead, they were quick to demonize us and to condemn and threaten to lynch the employee.
It is for these reasons we were so passionate in our previous postings.
Despite all the hateful comments and the threats, we are standing our ground for justice.
This type of cyber bullying should not be allowed in our society. We are not doing this just for ourselves. We are embarking on this mission to save the lives of future cyber bullying victims. We now see ourselves as victims to modern day barbarism, and we understand how this type of bullying could lead to suicide, especially for the young.
We could have taken the easy way out and fired the employee. This is not justice and not what our country stands for.
We thank all of you who were noble and principled to stand for justice as well. We hope that we count on your support for evermore in that respect.
We wish the accuser and her fiancée no harm whatsoever, and we apologize again.
We could proceed to commence a legal action in court and prosecute everyone trying to ruin our business on social media. However, we do not want to appear to contradict our reconciliation message. We do not want the outcome to be vengeful when something positive can be done instead.
We pledge today to donate to a charity that is dedicated to the prevention of cyber bullying. We also encourage all others who were attacking us and our employee to do the same. If not to cyber bullying, donate to a cause you feel passionate about.
Let’s turn the momentum generated by this incident into something positive for everyone.
Owner and Operator
Skaf’s Just Basics
READ THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE WITH THE ACCUSERS STATEMENT AND MORE BELOW:
Andrew Mckelvey and his girlfriend Chantal DeGrace are informing people of an experience she had while shopping at Skaf's Just Basics. Chantal DeGrace’s statement: ”So…
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.